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Last week we got word that a colleague had a heart attack. He got to the ER right away and turns out he had several symptoms but, luckily, no attack. Scary thing is he’s only 37. I decided to get a refresher on the warning signs. The American Heart Association says that “Movie” heart attacks are sudden and intense. The audience knows what’s happening. In reality, most heart attacks start slowly with only mild pain or discomfort. We should get checked out immediately when the discomfort starts:

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.

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 with or without chest discomfort.

Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

Women’s most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort too but they are a little more likely to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

One Comment

  1. very good information, you can't worry about feeling stupid if it's not what it seems like.

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