Before a heart attack strikes, there are warning signs that the body experiences that are clear signals that you should seek emergency medical attention.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, more than 70 percent of the 735,000 heart attacks reported each year are first-time heart attacks. Those people who didn’t see the symptoms in time to avoid their first heart attack were probably unable to recognize the warning signs.
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To avoid a similar fate, know the warning signs that the body experiences that signal the arrival of a heart attack. The American Heart Association has compiled
the common early warning signs of a heart attack:
- Chest discomfort, intermittent or lasting several minutes, in the center of the chest is not always felt as a sensation of pain, but also of pressure, squeezing, or fullness.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach
- Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
- Heart attack victims can also experience cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness prior to the event.
Dr. Nieca Goldberg, medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, told the AHA that while women experience the same heart attack symptoms as men, the warning signs are sometimes felt differently and do not always include chest pain.
“Instead [women] may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure, or extreme fatigue,” said Goldberg, who also volunteers with the AHA. She also said that women mistake these symptoms as a bout with the flu or acid reflux.
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If you feel any or all of these warning signs, the AHA recommends calling 911 immediately, because “every second counts” when a heart attack strikes.
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