While chest pain should never be ignored, it’s helpful to know what types of chest pain affect the heart to quickly determine the level of medical help needed.
Besides a heart attack, here are other serious heart conditions that also generate chest pain, according to WebMD
- Angina, also commonly known as chest pain, is a symptom of coronary artery disease
- Aortic dissection, which is a rupture in the main artery leading from the heart
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which causes a thickening of heart’s walls, which can lead to heart failure
- Mitral valve prolapse, which causes heart valves to close improperly
- Coronary artery dissection, like the aortic dissection but in the coronary artery, both of which can be an emergency and fatal condition
- Myocarditis, a muscle inflammation that mimics symptoms of a heart attack
- Pericarditis, an inflammation or infection of the sac around the heart. It can cause pain similar to that caused by angina
: 4 Things You'll Feel Before a Heart Attack
Chest pain lasting less than 30 seconds may require a visit to the doctor, but emergency services aren't necessary, according to The Merck Manual
, which pointed out that such brief bouts of chest pain are rarely caused by a heart disorder.
However, the American Heart Association recommends
calling 911 if you suspect you’re having a heart attack. The AHA said that patients who call 911 receive medical care up to an hour sooner than those who arrive at the hospital by car.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that chest pain
is one of the top reasons given for patient visits to the emergency room, particularly among adults older than 65.
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