WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON HEART ATTACK SYMPTOMS?

While some heart attacks are sudden, some start slowly. Find information on common heart attack symptoms, and find out what to do if you experience them.

KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS:

IS IT A HEART ATTACK?

Key Takeaways

HEART ATTACK SYMPTOMS ARE DIFFERENT FOR EVERYBODY

Discomfort (squeezing, pressure, fullness or pain) in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back is the hallmark of a heart attack.



KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEARTBURN & HEART ATTACK

If the pain seems worse than heartburn or different than what you normally experience, you should call 9-1-1 immediately or get to an emergency room right away.



LISTEN TO WHAT YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU

You know your body, and you know when something isn’t right. Go with your gut. When it comes to your heart, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

The way you normally think about how heart attacks happen may not be accurate. Knowing what really happens can be powerful.



Don’t ignore heart attack warning signs

  • Chest pressure, tightness, and heaviness: Most heart attacks involve pain or discomfort in the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  • Extreme fatigue: A sense of unusual or extreme tiredness that lasts for days, or weeks, can be a sign of heart trouble. This symptom can be more common in women.
  • Fainting and lightheadedness: This sensation can involve dizziness, extreme weakness or anxiety.
  • Nausea: A feeling of sickness associated with your stomach, but can be heart-related.
  • Pain in shoulders, neck, jaw, or arms: Report any unusual upper- body symptoms to your doctor.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest pain: Heart attack sufferers can have trouble breathing for no apparent reason.
  • Sweating: This can feel similar to hormonal hot flashes or night sweats.

Is it heartburn, or a heart attack?

The most common sign of a heart attack – for both men and women – is chest pain. But knowing whether the pain is a true warning sign of heart attack or a bout of indigestion may not always be obvious.

If your pain is similar to heartburn, but it seems worse or different than what you normally experience, you should get emergency help. This is especially important if you're experiencing other symptoms such as shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, nausea or pain that moves into your shoulder and arm.

It’s best to pay attention when something does not feel right. It’s better to visit an ER and find out it’s simply heartburn than to ignore the symptoms and find out too late that it’s serious.

Heart attacks in women

Every 42 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a heart attack. Women account for nearly half of all heart attack deaths. Over a life time, heart disease kills five times as many women as breast cancer.

While heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, there are some key differences between genders. Women tend to experience heart attacks about 10 years later in life than men. Also, women are twice as likely as men to die within the first few weeks after suffering a heart attack.

However, there are many things you can do to help lower your risk of having a heart attack, including being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, following a healthy diet and knowing your risks.

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CARRY ASPIRIN.
HELP SAVE A LIFE.

Do you know what to do the moment you suspect someone's having a heart attack?

Aspirin regimen products for recurrent heart attack prevention

Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.

HEART ATTACK SURVIVOR STORIES

elderly woman smiling

BETTY B

"I am thankful for each day and the opportunities it brings to share my experiences with others."

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older male with young child

KEN L

"I’ve changed my diet to minimize fat and salt. I’m learning to read labels and make healthy choices."

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elderly woman smiling

CINDY B

"It all comes down to listening – the cardiologists listening to us, and not just with their stethoscopes – and us listening to the cardiologists. Without both of these, there are no winners!"

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middle aged man with sunglasses and baseball cap

RANDY W

"I now take a low dose Bayer Aspirin regimen, and I was told that the aspirin I was given during my heart attack helped save my life! Thanks for being there for me Bayer!"

READ MORE >

This tool is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, medical advice, or medical treatment. Contact your healthcare provider after using the tool to discuss your heart health or if you have any health concerns.

Estimated risk of a cardiovascular event, specifically, the risk of a heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI) or stroke in the next five years.