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Day 28: Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

Men and women can have a variety of different symptoms during a heart attack. Being able to recognize the signs could help you, a loved one or a co-worker in need, so that medical assistance can be called.

What is a Heart Attack?

About every 43 seconds, someone experiences a heart attack, according to the American Heart Association. This happens when your arteries are blocked from bringing enough oxygen to the heart. The block comes from the buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances, including plaque. Here's a list of some of the most frequently reported symptoms and signs of a heart attack.

Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms

  • Chest Pain or Discomfort: During a heart attack, you may feel discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. You may feel uncomfortable pressure, squeezing or pain.
  • Other Areas of Discomfort: You may also feel discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of Breath: This can happen with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other Signs: This may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

The most common symptoms of a heart attack for women are chest pain or discomfort. Women are also more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, nausea and back or jaw pain.

Now that you’ve learned the signs, print and share them with your loved ones. Even if you’re not sure if it’s a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately if you see a person in distress displaying these symptoms.


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