This Is The #1 Heart Attack Symptom People Ignore – Best Life

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, accounting for one in five deaths from all causes. And as the World Health Organization (WHO) points out, more than 80 percent of cardiovascular deaths are caused by heart attacks and strokes, with a third of these deaths occurring prematurely in patients aged 70 or younger. Therefore, recognizing the signs of a heart attack — especially the more subtle ones — is one of the best ways to prevent a sudden and life-threatening heart attack.

Read on to learn the most common heart attack symptom people ignore and what to do if you’re unsure of your symptoms.

READ NEXT: Doing this at night can lead to heart failure, study warns.

An elderly black woman has her blood pressure taken at her home by a young black doctor

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about half of Americans are believed to be at an increased risk of heart attack. That’s because “half of all Americans have at least one of the three major risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking.”

Other factors may also increase this risk: the presence of other underlying health conditions, certain lifestyle factors, advanced age, and a family history of heart problems are all associated with higher heart attack rates.

“Some risk factors cannot be controlled, such as B. Your age or family history. However, you can take steps to lower your risk by changing the factors that you can control,” the CDC says. These include quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and treating underlying health conditions.

Sick man with shortness of breath symptom
klebercordeiro / iStock

Many people think they would recognize the signs of a heart attack if it happened to them. However, Richard Wright, MD, a cardiologist at Providence Saint John Health Center in Santa Monica, California, warns that the most well-known symptoms of a heart attack are not necessarily the most common. “Most people mistakenly believe that heart attacks are always accompanied by severe chest pain. That’s not true,” he says best life.

Instead, he says, many people experience a rather vague sense of uneasiness that is often overlooked. “Although it’s possible to have severe chest pain during a heart injury, the signs and symptoms are usually more subtle,” he explains. “Typically, people describe a feeling of oppressive discomfort and a heavy feeling that they don’t call ‘pain,’ that is most often located in the middle of the chest.” Some patients may describe this feeling as pressure, bruising, or fullness, notes the CDC Celebration.

He adds that this discomfort can also “occur in other areas of the body above the waist, including the left side of the chest, neck and throat, lower jaw, a shoulder, and/or upper arms (most commonly the left arm) .” This feeling may last for several minutes continuously or stop and start.

Man is having the symptoms of heart attack while sleeping in bed at night

Wright adds that several other heart attack symptoms are similarly non-specific and therefore easily overlooked. These include “cold sweats, nausea, indigestion, heartburn, belching, ‘bad feeling’ and/or shortness of breath.”

The cardiologist notes that these types of symptoms are “far more common in older people and especially older women because they typically don’t have a heart attack until 10 years after they have a heart attack. Most men have a heart attack differently than men, mostly it’s related to that they are older at the time of the event. It is common for older people not to realize that their symptoms are related to an ongoing heart attack, simply thinking that they are ‘sick’ – perhaps related to a gastrointestinal problem .”

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Woman caresses sick man in hospital ward after heart attack

If you’re not sure if you’re having a heart attack, don’t ignore your concerns. It’s important to see a doctor so a doctor can help evaluate your condition, Wright urges.

“Unfortunately, there’s no easy way that someone can tell if they’re having a heart attack themselves if they have these signs or symptoms,” says Wright. “Differentiating whether these problems are related to a possible heart attack usually requires an electrocardiogram, blood tests or imaging tests – and these are usually only available in a medical setting. If anyone fears they may be suffering from a heart attack, they must contact their doctor immediately, [go] call an emergency room or an ambulance,” he advises.

Talk to your doctor for more information about possible heart attack symptoms, and call 911 right away if you think you may have heart attack symptoms.

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