Detecting symptoms of a heart attack early could prevent a large number of deaths worldwide. The early warning signs and symptoms that indicate an approaching heart attack are explained in detail below.
Heart attacks (myocardial infarctions) are often fatal and are one of the most common causes of death worldwide. A heart attack is usually triggered by the blockage of the coronary arteries, which are responsible for supplying the heart muscle with blood.
What causes undersupply to the heart?
If the heart is no longer supplied with enough blood, this leads to the continuous death of the heart muscle cells. If the problem is not treated, complete heart failure and death can result. Therefore, it is important to know the warning signs and symptoms of an early heart attack.
Typical signs of a sudden heart attack
For example, diffuse sweating, vomiting and chest pain can be signs of a sudden heart attack, according to a report from the Cleveland Clinic (USA). However, there are also heart attacks that develop gradually, meaning that warning signs that may occur are overlooked.
Pain in arms, jaw, neck and back
These warning signs include pressure or a feeling of tightness in the chest, but without accompanying pain. A heart attack can also be signaled by pain in the arm, jaw, neck, back or cold sweats.
Heartburn, indigestion, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and unusual tiredness can also indicate a heart attack, reports cardiologist Dr. Jacqueline Tamis-Holland from the Cleveland Clinic.
Women often experience atypical symptoms
In women in particular, the classic signs of a heart attack such as chest pain and shortness of breath are often not evident. It is much more likely that women will experience atypical symptoms of a heart attack, explain experts at Jena University Hospital (UKJ).
Such atypical symptoms include, for example, insecurity, a feeling of weakness or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Those affected often do not associate these symptoms with a heart attack at all.
Silent heart attacks are often detected late
In general, experts speak of a heart attack without classic symptoms as a so-called silent heart attack. The lack of typical symptoms means that the diagnosis of a silent heart attack is often only made weeks or months later or is not noticed at all, reports the Cleveland Clinic in another article.
The cardiologist Dr. Curtis Rimmerman confirms in this that atypical symptoms of heart attacks occur particularly frequently in women. But people with diabetes are also increasingly affected and, in principle, such a heart attack can occur in anyone.
Heartburn can indicate a heart attack
In addition to shortness of breath and constant fatigue, a feeling of pressure in the chest, a feeling of discomfort in the chest or a feeling of tightness in the chest are indications of a silent heart attack.
Since indigestion often occurs as a result of a heart attack, which promotes the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus, heartburn is also considered a sign of a silent heart attack, the expert continues.
Interpret the signs correctly
Because every minute counts in a heart attack and studies show that around half of the people who die from a heart attack die within the first 15 minutes, it is particularly important to recognize the atypical signs of a heart attack early and to seek medical attention immediately if necessary to call for help. (as)