Chest Pain: Angina or a Heart Attack
Chest Pain: Angina or a Heart Attack?
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
See a picture of the areas where you might have pain during a heart attack.
Unstable angina symptoms are similar to a heart attack.
People who have unstable angina often describe their symptoms as:
The symptoms of stable angina are different from those of unstable angina. Stable angina occurs at predictable times with a specific amount of exertion or activity and may continue without much change for years. It is relieved by rest or nitrates (nitroglycerin) and usually lasts less than 5 minutes.
For men and women, the most common symptom is chest pain or pressure. But women are somewhat more likely than men to have other symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain.
Women are more likely than men to delay seeking help for a possible heart attack. Women delay for many reasons, like not being sure it is a heart attack or not wanting to bother others. But it is better to be safe than sorry. If you have symptoms of a possible heart attack, call for help. When you get to the hospital, do not be afraid to speak up for what you need. To get the tests and care you need, be sure your doctors know that you think you might be having a heart attack.
For more information, see Women and Coronary Artery Disease.
Other ways to describe chest pain
People who are having a heart attack often describe their chest pain in various ways. The pain:
It is possible to have a "silent heart attack" without any symptoms, but this is rare.
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