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Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

It’s easy to identify the signs of possible heart attack when they happen suddenly and with intensity. However, many signs may not be so obvious and may occur over several days. People experiencing a heart attack may not recognize the possible gradual signs and wait longer to find help, placing them at greater risk. Knowing all the signs and acting fast can help heart attack victims find treatment sooner.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), men and women can experience different signs of a heart attack.

Signs of a possible heart attack in men

Men often, though not always, experience the typical signs of a heart attack:

  • Discomfort in the center of the chest such as tight pressure, squeezing or fullness that comes in waves
  • Fainting, lightheadedness, shortness of breath or nausea
  • Pain that spreads to the neck, shoulders and arms

Signs of a possible heart attack in women

In addition to the typical heart attack symptoms, women may also experience:

  • Back or jaw pain
  • Palpitations, paleness or cold sweats
  • Mild, flu-like symptoms
  • Unexplained anxiety or weakness

Be prepared and find help

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you recognize the signs of a possible heart attack. Your heart muscle dies as more time passes, so every second is important. You can prevent heart attack injury or death by staying prepared and acting quickly.