Silent Heart Attacks - Symptoms & Risk Factors of Silent Ischemia
Heart Attack Does Not Always Start With Chest Pain
Women under 50 are twice as likely to die from a heart attack as men. One reason may be they often don't experience the classic symptom.
By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
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During a heart attack, every second counts. Part of the heart muscle is not getting blood; and the longer that goes on, the more permanent damage is done.
“Time is muscle,” explains Richard Krasuski, MD, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic. “The quicker you get treated, the more heart you can salvage.”
It’s vital to get help at the first sign of what may be a heart attack. But it’s important to know that sign is not always chest pain, especially for women.
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that for one in five women having a heart attack, chest pain is not the first thing they feel. That can mean a delay before getting help.
Other warning signs of possible heart attack are sweating, arm or shoulder pain (and not necessarily on the left side), shortness of breath, nausea, headache, or dizziness.
Of course, most of the time someone feels one of these things, she is not having a heart attack. Even chest pain is more often a sign of digestive rather than cardiac distress. But with a heart attack, it is important to err on the side of caution.
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