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Monday, February 28, 2011

Heart Attack: Know the Symptoms

Each year over 1 million people in the U.S. suffer a heart attack and about half of them die. Many people do not recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and that can lead to permanent heart damage and even death. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and to call 911 immediately if you or someone around you is exhibiting any of the symptoms.

Here are some symptoms of a heart attack:

- Chest discomfort - pressure, squeezing, or pain
- Shortness of breath
- Discomfort in the upper body - arms, shoulder, neck, back
- Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness, sweating

Women can have different symptoms. The most common pre-heart attack symptoms in women are:

- Unusual fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the shoulder blade or upper back

The most common acute symptoms are:

- Chest pain
- Midback, neck, or jaw pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Palpitations
- Indigestion

For a great diagram of heart damaged an a blocked artery, check out What is a Heart Attack? from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

For more information on heart attacks, check out these links:

About Heart Attacks (American Heart Association)

Heart Attack (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Heart Attack Treatments (American Heart Association)

How Is a Heart Attack Treated? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

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