Signs of a heart attack

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help.

From the American Heart Association comes these Heart Attack Warning Signs:

Chest discomfort: Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath: Can occur with or without chest discomfort.

Other signs: May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Call 911: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out. Minutes matter. Fast action can save lives. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 911.

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