Men and women may differ in their experience of heart attack symptoms. For men, the most common sign of a heart attack is pain or pressure in the chest. Women are more likely than men to have unusual or "atypical" signs of a heart attack.
The following are the most common symptoms of a heart attack, particularly in men. Symptoms may include:
Severe pressure, fullness, squeezing, pain and/or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes
Pain or discomfort that spreads to the shoulders, neck, arms, or jaw
Chest pain that increases in intensity
Chest pain that is not relieved by rest or by taking nitroglycerin
Chest pain that occurs with any/all of the following (additional) symptoms:
Sweating, cool, clammy skin, and/or paleness
Shortness of breath nausea or vomiting
Dizziness or fainting
Unexplained weakness or fatigue
Rapid or irregular pulse
Women may have all, none, many or a few of the typical heart attack symptoms, and some of these symptoms may come and go. The most common symptoms of a heart attack in women include:
Discomfort or pressure in the chest
Pain in one or both arms, upper back, neck, jaw, or stomach
Nausea or vomiting
Breaking out in a cold sweat
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Inability to sleep
Paleness or clammy skin
Every minute counts!
Call 911 when you begin to have any of these symptoms. Do not wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Don't worry about symptoms being a "false alarm." Don't be concerned about bothering others. When you get to the hospital, ask for tests that would diagnose a heart attack. Treatment of heart attacks is most effective when administered as quickly as possible.