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Health News Mon, 18 Feb 2013

Heart attack warning signs

YOU AND YOUR HEALTH

Heartburn or heart attack? How to tell the difference

Heart attack warning signs

More than 220,000 people suffer from heart attacks in the UK each year, and sadly, about one in three die before even reaching the hospital.

Heart attacks need to be dealt with immediately. The odds of surviving a heart attack are significantly improved if you are treated within 90 minutes of experiencing the first symptoms.

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Despite being a medical emergency, too many people delay calling for an ambulance when symptoms start.

Research from the US has found that men waited an average of two and a half hours before contacting the emergency services, and women took even longer.

A likely explanation for this is that people know only one of the main symptoms of heart a heart attack - chest pain - but don't know the others. Even then, if the chest pain is mild, heart attack victims often put it down to a bad case of heartburn or indigestion. So how can you tell the difference? Heart Attack Warning Signs

The common or 'classic' symptoms of a heart attack include:

* Pain in the centre of the chest * Chest pain which spreads to the arms, neck or jaw * Chest pain and feeling sick or sweaty * Chest pain and shortness of breath

The less commons symptoms of a heart attack include:

* A dull pain, ache, or ‘heavy’ feeling in the chest * A mild discomfort in the chest that makes you feel generally unwell * A pain in your chest that can spread to the back or stomach * A chest pain that feels like a bad episode of indigestion * Feeling light-headed or dizzy as well as having chest pain

Heart attack symptoms differ from person to person. Chest pain can vary from mild discomfort in the centre of the chest to severe pain which is often described as a heavy pressure, crushing or tightness.

But, for others, the chest pain may be relatively mild, but accompanied by some of the other symptoms, so recognising a pattern of symptoms is key - 'heartburn' with breathlessness and sweating needs to be checked out.

Both men and women can experience common or uncommon symptoms of a heart attack, or even a combination of both. Either way, they need to be dealt with immediately.

Source: Tony Wisdom