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Heart Attack: Know the Signs

By February 21, 2008 - 5:43pm
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According to the CDC, not enough Americans know the signs of a heart attack, and those who do wouldn't know what to do.

More than 900,000 Americans suffer heart attacks each year. More than 150,000 deaths occur within one hour of the first symptoms.

The five warning signs of heart attack are:

1) pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back;
2) feeling weak, lightheaded or faint;
3) chest pain or discomfort;
4) pain or discomfort in the arms or shoulder, and

5) shortness of breath.

What you should do if you or someone near you is suffering an attack: call 911. Do not attempt to drive yourself or the victim to the hospital. Quick action is vital to surviving the attack.


Article: Awareness of Heart Attack Signs, MSN Health & Fitness,

More information:

American Heart Association

Add a Comment3 Comments

After reading the above messages regarding heart attack warning signs, I became curious as to what (if any) gender differences exist, and found that the National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted a study on women and symptoms of heart attack (specifically, Acute Myocardial Infarction or "AMI"). The study did find some gender differences and "new" symptoms, as well as possible ethnic and racial differences.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), women did not typically have chest pains (less than 30%) before or during a heart attack, which is significantly different from men. Women did report some similar symptoms as men, including shortness of breath and weakness.

The symptoms most commonly reported by women *before* the heart attack were:
- unusual fatigue
- sleep disturbance
- shortness of breath
- indigestion
- anxiety

The symptoms most commonly reported by women *during* the heart attack were:
- shortness of breath
- weakness
- unusual fatigue
- cold sweat
- dizziness

Article can be viewed at the NIH website:

March 15, 2008 - 2:07pm

While the AHA has excellent guidelines for heart attacks, it's well known that women frequently have atypicl presentations and thus find themselves ignored. The above guidelines are typical for most male patients as until a few years ago, all of the research was performed on men. Basically, anything goes for women.

March 10, 2008 - 7:18pm

You really need to note that women can have very atypical type of symptoms of heart attack, not the classic AHA warning signs. This is part of the reason women can be taken less seriously than men, it doesn't fit into a standard mold.

March 3, 2008 - 8:47pm
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