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Signs of Heart Attack

Updated on May 15, 2016
The common signs of a heart attack.
The common signs of a heart attack.

A heart attack is not limited to a certain race, gender or nation, which means that anyone can suffer from it. Though common among men, heart attacks equally affect women. In men, the risk of experiencing a heart attack increases after attaining the age of 45. In women, heart attacks are more likely to occur after menopause. That does not mean younger women stand no risk of experiencing a heart attack. A good number of young women are victims of heart attacks every year.

In America, it is estimated that over a million people suffer from heart attacks yearly, with about four hundred and sixty thousand (460,000) of those cases being fatal. About half of the victims are killed before getting access to a hospital. This goes to show how deadly heart attacks can be.

What causes a heart attack?

One of the most common causes of a heart attack is the blockages in the flow of oxygen-rich blood to areas or divisions of the heart, leading to that area of the heart being starved of oxygen and subsequently destroying the muscles there.

So what causes the blockage? Well, according to research, the blockages are usually caused by coronary artery disease, which is a disease were plaque, which is a waxy substance gathers up in the coronary arteries.

The gathering of plaque in the coronary arteries can take several years before being noticed. This can eventually lead to a split in the plaque, causing blood clot on the surface of the plaque in the arteries. When the clot becomes massive, then it would hinder the flow of oxygen-rich blood through the coronary arteries. The blockages must be treated quickly otherwise the section of the heart muscle that links to the blocked artery would gradually die.

Symptoms of a heart attack

Symptoms of a heart attack differ from one person to another. Here are some notable signs of a heart attack.

Chest pain or discomfort around the chest

Heart attacks notably begin with an unusual pain in the center or left side of the chest. The pain lasts only for some few minutes, vanishes and returns unexpectedly. Usually, it appears like heartburn, indigestion and in other cases like pressure in the center or left side of the heart.

Discomfort or pain in the upper body

In some cases, a symptom of a heart attack is depicted by abnormal pains or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, and jaw and at other times in the upper part of the stomach.

Shortness of breath

When engaged in a little bit of physical activity or even resting, one may experience a sudden decline in breathing. This shortness of breath is entirely different from the normal breathing pattern.

Consistently feeling tired for no reason which may happen even if you are doing no physical activity. This symptom is common among women. It is mostly characterized by sudden dizziness.

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are usually symptoms of several other diseases, and a heart attack is one disease that has symptoms of nausea and vomiting.

Detecting a heart attack early can save your life

Early detection and treatment saves life for all major diseases. Same can be said of heart attacks. Quickly detecting the symptoms of heart attacks and swiftly seeking professional help really plays an instrumental role in saving lives when it comes to heart attacks. People who discover these symptoms discussed above should not waste time in consulting a medical practitioner or health expert. In the treatment of heart related diseases, time is the most vital asset for both doctor and patient. A little delay in reporting to hospital or administering treatment can lead to serious irreversible complications and death.


Since prevention is always better than cure, I would like to conclude this article showing you the reader the simple things that you can do to save yourself from suffering from a heart attack. You can prevent a heart attack by reducing the amount of cholesterol-rich food that you eat. You can also avoid this horrible condition by engaging in at least thirty minutes of exercise or workouts such as jogging at least four times a week. You should also endeavor to reduce the amount of sugar you consume. Last but not least, it is imperative that you visit your doctor’s office from time to time. Doing these simple things can play an instrumental role in saving you from a heart attack.

You should also know that things such as high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, high blood cholesterol, obesity and physical inactivity are the common factors that increase the risk of a heart attack. People suffering from any such condition should not hesitate in seeing a doctor for expert advice.


Have you ever experienced any of the symptoms of heart attack?

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    • womenshealthguide profile image

      Sadia Komal 21 months ago

      Prevention is always better than cure, Thanx