While some heart attacks are sudden and intense, many start less noticeably, with mild pain or discomfort at first. The most common heart attack symptom, for both men and women, is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
The American Heart Association lists the below as the major signs of a heart attack:
- Chest discomfort
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
- Shortness of breath (with or without chest discomfort)
- Other signs, including breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness
- Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be effective for cardiac arrest at home, work or in public
- Early Heart Attack Care (or EHAC) education teaches you to recognize the early signs and symptoms of a heart attack
Heart Attack Early Symptoms
Major Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack in Women and Men
Even if you're not sure it's a heart attack, it is best to be examined by a medical professional. Minutes matter. Acting fast can save your life. Dialing 911 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment.
Don't Drive Yourself
If you are experiencing heart attack symptoms, call 911. It may save your life.
An Ambulance is More than Just a Ride to the Hospital
With a heart attack, every second counts. Calling 911 starts your care sooner, which could save your life.