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Common Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Verified By Apollo Cardiologist June 12, 2019 2391 0

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI) is a serious medical emergency in which the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked, usually by a blood clot.

A heart attack is a medical emergency. Consult and ask for an ambulance if you suspect a heart attack.

A lack of blood to the heart may seriously damage the heart muscle and can be life-threatening.

4 Common Signs of a Heart Attack

Is it a Heart Attack or Heartburn?

Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack or heartburn because, when you’re having a heart attack, every second count. Don’t wait, instead seek treatment quickly if you experience any of these heart attack warning signs.

The following are the most common 4 signs of a heart attack:

Chest Pain

Pain or discomfort in the left-center or center of your chest is the most common warning sign that a person may feel. This pain can range from mild to severe. 

The pain in the chest usually lasts for a few minutes. In some cases, it goes away and comes back worse. However, the chest pain may also feel like:

  • Tightness
  • Fullness
  • Heavy pressure
  • Crushing
  • Squeezing
  • Heartburn
  • Mitral Valve Repair
  • Indigestion

Everyone expresses the feeling in different ways. Some people say they feel as if an elephant sitting on them,  while some others say it’s like a pinching or burning sensation.

Upper Body Discomfort

In some instances, you may feel pain or discomfort in your arms, jaw, neck, back, shoulders or upper part of your stomach just above your belly button. In some cases,  you can have a stomach upset for so many reasons that have nothing to do with your heart. But the only thing you need to remember is that it can also happen during a heart attack.

The pain usually begins in your chest and then spreads to the above-mentioned body parts.

Shortness of Breath 

Trouble breathing or the sensations of being winded are the most common warning signs of Heart attack other than chest pain. You may experience the shortness of breath when you’re at rest or doing a very slight activity that wouldn’t normally cause breathlessness. Sometimes, this can be the only symptom you experience, or it can happen before or along with chest or upper body pain.    

Other Common Heart Attack Symptoms

There are many other common warning signs that may signal a heart attack. However, the below listed are the few symptoms which you may experience:

  •  Light-headedness or sudden dizziness
  •  Cold sweat or clammy skin
  •  Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart flutter or palpitations
  • Cough
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Heartburn
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Heart Valve Surgery
  • Anxiety
  • Extreme fatigue or exhaustion

Heart flutter or palpitations, Cough, Heartburn, Sleep disturbances, Anxiety, and Extreme fatigue or exhaustion are the common symptoms especially found in women for days or even weeks leading up to a heart attack.   

Silent Heart Attack Symptoms

A heart attack may also occur silently and doesn’t cause any obvious symptoms. This is known as a silent heart attack.

A silent heart attack may offer some warning signs and typically include variations on classic heart attack symptoms, such as: 

  • Chest discomfort that lasts a few minutes, or comes and goes
  • Discomfort in your neck, jaw, arms, back, or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness

Silent heart attack symptoms may occur for days or even weeks leading up to a heart attack, especially in women. Women under 50 are twice as likely to die from a heart attack as men because they often don’t experience the classic symptoms that help seek early medical treatment.    

However, the symptoms may vary between men and women. Among men, the most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. In contrast, women may experience some of the other common symptoms including particularly shortness of breath, atrial flutter, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.


 There are many things you can do to lower your risk of having a heart attack. You can reduce your risk of getting heart attacks by being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, following a healthy diet and knowing your risks.

Heart Attack is a serious medical emergency which does not always start with chest pain. If you are experiencing these signs and symptoms of a heart attack, seek immediate medical attention from the nearest hospital or Book an appointment with Best Cardiologist in India for emergency specialist care.

Verified By Apollo Cardiologist

The content is reviewed and verified by our experienced and highly specialized team of heart specialists who diagnose and treat more than 200 simple-to-complex heart conditions. These specialists dedicate a portion of their clinical time to deliver trustworthy and medically accurate content

8000+ Top doctors Associated and Apollo Hospitals is continuosly ranked as No1 Multispecialty Hospitals in India with best in class treatments for Cancer, Knee replacements, Liver Transplant, Heart, Diabetes, Kidney.

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