Do we know how to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack?

The symptoms of myocardial infarction are different in women and men, and can be attributed to other causes or confused with other pathologies, so it is very important to pay attention to them.

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Curiously, being one of the main causes of death in the world, many times the symptoms of a heart attack are not recognized and, therefore, the person is not treated in time. Knowing how to identify symptoms to see a doctor as soon as possible will be vital in survival and subsequent sequelae.

On the other hand, myocardial infarction is one of the main preventable causes of death due to its close relationship with lifestyles. Thus, we will review some risk factors related to cardiovascular disease.

Symptoms of a heart attack

Myocardial infarction, heart attack or heart attack, occurs when the arteries supplying this organ become blocked or blocked . This obstruction causes a lack of blood supply and prevents oxygen from reaching the myocardial cells.

Depending on the speed with which it is treated, it depends on the partial or total death of the myocardium, which will condition the subsequent consequences on the person’s health. Hence, one of the keys to surviving a heart attack and that its consequences are as mild as possible is learning to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack.

  1. Chest pain

Chest pain is a classic sign of heart attack, more frequent in men than in women.

The main symptom is pain in the chest. Patients describe this pain, as a tightness, as if there was a heavy weight on their chest. However, sometimes this pain is not so intense , and other times, it is not given the importance that it has, attributing it to various causes, stress , anxiety, etc.

Also, chest pain is the most common symptom in men. While in women, acute pain in the upper body, neck, back or jaw is more frequent. This is one of the reasons why myocardial infarction is sometimes  not diagnosed in the female sex as quickly as in the male.

On the other hand, we are used to thinking of pain in the chest or left arm, as a synonym for heart attack. Instead, a pain in the back or neck, can also be used to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack.

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  1. Intense shortness of breath

Sometimes chest pain is also accompanied by severe shortness of breath. Likewise, sudden (and unexplained) fatigue is another of the heart attack symptoms most associated with women. However, it is possible to ignore it, as it can be mild and stay for a few days.

  1. Nausea

The symptoms of a heart attack can be variable depending on the person, even with intermittencies.

The nausea and vomiting are other symptoms of a heart attack. However, they occur more often in women , than in men. Remember that if there is nausea and vomiting, in addition to other symptoms, the person is very likely in need of immediate medical attention. It may be due to a heart attack or some other cause.

As we saw the symptoms of a heart attack, they vary according to sex and also according to each person. Usually, they are hardly ever present at the same time.

In many cases, while a heart attack begins, the person suffering from it feels dizzy, light-headed and asks to sit down. In many cases, symptoms appear and disappear after a few minutes . This is one more reason why they are ignored as a sign that a heart attack is occurring.

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Risk factors for a heart attack

Risk factors play an essential role in recognizing the symptoms of a heart attack.

Disregarding the intense pain in the chest, the other symptoms are not so easy to associate with a myocardial infarction:

  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Jaw pain.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Discomfort or pain in the arms.
  • Neck or back pain.

For this reason, it is also important to consider whether the person has any of the risk factors that predispose to a heart attack. Among these risk factors are: atherosclerosis or other coronary diseases, obesity, and smoking. In addition, it must be taken into account, if the person is going through a period of high level of stress.

Another key factor to consider is age.  The risk of having a heart attack, shoots up from the age of 40 in men, and 50 years in the case of women. For all these reasons, the prevention of cardiovascular diseases is based on reducing avoidable risk factors through frequent physical activity, a balanced diet low in fat and salt, as well as eliminating bad habits such as smoking.


In case you have been diagnosed with a heart disease or condition that includes a risk of heart attack, try to follow your doctor’s instructions and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Of course, knowing how to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack will also be useful.


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