Symptoms and Signs of Heart Attack

Doctor's Notes on Heart Attack

A heart attack is death of the heart muscle due to inadequate oxygen supply.

Often, people may have no symptoms with a heart attack. When symptoms do occur, classic symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain (may be described as tightness, fullness, a pressure, or an ache) associated with shortness of breath, profuse sweating, and nausea. Other symptoms of a heart attack may include indigestion, jaw ache, pain only in the shoulders or arms, shortness of breath, or nausea and vomiting. In women and the elderly, heart attack symptoms can be uncommon and vague and can be easily missed. In some cases, the only complaint may be extreme weakness or fatigue. If you suspect you or someone you know are experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 immediately.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.