How do you know if you’re having a heart attack?

24-7 NurseRebrandHeart attack symptoms are not always obvious. The signs can often begin subtly with chest discomfort that comes and goes. Many people brush off the symptoms as indigestion or anxiety, but you should seek medical attention if symptoms persist for more than 15 minutes.

What are the symptoms?

Heart attack symptoms vary from person to person. Typical heart attack symptoms are:

  • Pressure or crushing pain in chest, which may radiate into left arm or jaw
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath

Women may have symptoms without chest pain, such as: 

  • Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
  • Chest discomfort, commonly mistaken as heartburn
  • Unusual or unexplained fatigue

Risk factors

Family history is vital when evaluating cardiac risk. The risk for heart disease can increase even more when heredity is combined with unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking cigarettes and eating a poor diet. Other risk factors include physical inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Chest Pain & Stroke Hotline

When you need help identifying the signs of a heart attack or stroke, phone Baptist Health’s award-winning Chest Pain and Stroke Hotline at 1-800-575-1911 to speak with one of our registered nurses. It is free and available 24/7

Phone the Baptist Health Line 24/7 at (270) 575-2918 if you have other health questions, even if you’ve never been a patient at Baptist Health Paducah. Our nurses also can answer your questions here.

About Baptist Health Paducah

Baptist Health Paducah is a regional medical and referral center, serving about 200,000 patients a year from four states. With more than 1,800 employees and 200 physicians, it offers a full range of services, including cardiac and cancer care, diagnostic imaging, women’s and children’s services, surgery, emergency treatment, rehabilitation and more. Since its humble beginning in 1953, Baptist Health Paducah has grown from 117 beds to 349 beds on a campus covering eight square blocks.
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