What are Symptoms of Heart Attack?

What are Symptoms of Heart Attack?

Heart attack symptoms can vary from person to person. Angina is the chest pressure or discomfort associated with heart attack and occurs when an area of the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen-rich blood. The most common symptom, in both men and women, is chest pain or discomfort, but typically described as chest heaviness or “elephant sitting on the chest.”

Here are other symptoms common to heart attack:

Shortness of breath




Cold or profuse sweating

Face seems gray

A feeling of terror that your life is coming to its end

Feeling really awful (general feeling)


At heart attack onset,  patients generally feel pain in their chest first. The pain then often spreads to the neck, jaw, arms and wrists, usually on the left side. The pain may also make its way into the shoulder blades, the back and the abdomen. Changing position, resting or lying down does not alleviate the pain, and the pain is often made worse with movement or exercise. The pain can last from a few minutes to many hours.

People who have diabetes, and some people over the age of 75, may experience a “silent heart attack” — one with no pain at all. Women, too, are more likely to experience lack of symptoms of heart attack.

Studies indicate that about 1 in 5 mild heart attacks are not diagnosed and 1 in 3 patients having a heart attack do not survive or make it to the hospital. This means there are many people who are suffering progressive heart muscle damage because it is not being recognized or immediately treated. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms as there are good diagnostic tests and treatments available that can save a life.