Most people are aware of the common heart attack symptoms: pressure, tightness, or pain in the chest. But some people can experience cardiac arrest without these symptoms. Individuals at higher risk – men over the age of 45 and women over 55 – must educated themselves about all the warning signs in order to identify or even prevent a heart attack as soon as possible.
Early symptoms occur in 50% of cardiac cases. These can include mild, “stuttering” chest pain that comes and goes, nausea, lightheadedness, anxiety, or confusion. Lesser-known heart attack symptoms could also be pain in the neck or jaw, shortness of breath, or skin clamminess.
Symptoms can also differ for men and women. Men are likely to experience typical chest pain or a squeezing sensation, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and dizziness, or stomach discomfort. Women, however, may not experience chest pain at all. They are more likely to notice fatigue, anxiety, lightheadedness, sleep disturbances, or pain in the jaw, throat, or upper back. In a recent study, 80% of women reported these symptoms for more than a month before the heart attack.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or get to a hospital immediately – a delay of even five minutes could make a huge difference in recovery. But don’t wait until then – stay on top of your cardiac health all year long, with regular physical exams and an assessment of your risk factors. To get the conversation started, call our office at 904-493-3333.