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Heart Attack Warning Signs

Discomfort in Other Areas of the Upper Body
In about one third of people who have a heart attack, pain or discomfort may occur in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
 
Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath often comes along with chest discomfort. But this warning sign can occur before the onset of chest discomfort, and in some people (such as the elderly), extreme shortness of breath may occur without chest pain.
 

Vague Warning Signs

It is possible that a person could have vague warning signs of a heart attack. The problem with these symptoms is that they are shared with other conditions that may not be as serious as a heart attack. These vague signs can include:
 
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Problems breathing
  • Indigestion (upset stomach)
  • Anxiety (feeling uneasy or worried).
     
These warning signs are more common in females, the elderly, and people with diabetes.
 

Summary

The warning signs for a heart attack can vary among individuals. But if you have chest pain that spreads to the back, shoulders, arms, neck, or jaw, call 911 right away. You should also call 911 if you have shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, or dizziness.
 
It is important for everyone to learn the warning signs -- and remember: Even if you're not sure it's a heart attack, you should still have it checked out. The amount of damage that is done during a heart attack will depend on how much of the heart is affected and how soon treatment begins. Fast action could save your life.
 
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