Kettering Health Network (ketteringhealth.org)
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Heart Attack Symptoms

While some heart attacks are sudden and intense, others start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs: These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

These symptoms, however, are typical for middle-aged men and not necessarily for women.

Women are more likely to have the following symptoms:

  • Discomfort above the waist brought on by strain (including back, shoulders, arms or jaw)
  • Nausea and vomiting, fatigue
  • Shortness of breath (trouble catching your breath)
  • Arm and/or chest pain


If you have chest pain or other heart attack symptoms, call 9-1-1 and seek medical attention immediately at the nearest emergency room.