Heart attack symptoms: The ‘less common’ signs of a heart attack you might be missing

This Morning: Dr Chris discusses heart disease

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The symptoms of a heart attack may be more subtle than you think. Calling an ambulance straight away could save your life. Many of us know the common ones, such as tightness in the chest or pain in the arm – but what are the less common signs of a heart attack? When should you call 999?

Heart attacks are caused by a lack of blood reaching the heart which puts stress on the muscle and can bring on an attack.

A heart attack can also be a sign of coronary heart disease.

When this occurs large fatty deposits interrupt the flow of blood in the blood vessels, which can stop the flow of blood to the heart causing an attack.

If you think you, or someone you know, may be having an attack, you should call 999 straight away.

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There are several key warning signs of a heart attack to look out for.

Most of us know the common signs of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain
  • Pain in the arm
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing or wheezing

But, what are the ‘less common’ signs that you might be having a heart attack?

Most people assume that heart attacks come on quickly and unexpectedly.

But, heart attack symptoms can persist over days as well as coming on suddenly.

The intensity of pain felt can vary from person to person.

For some, the pain might just be a feeling of discomfort, similar to indigestion, but for others, the pain in their chest can be severe.

So what are the ‘Less common’ signs of a heart attack?

Less common signs of a heart attack include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety – this can feel similar to a panic attack
  • Sweating

What should you do if you think you may be having a heart attack?

If you think you may be having a heart attack you should call 999 immediately for medical assistance.

You should then sit down and rest, try to stay calm while you wait for an ambulance, if you have a 300mg aspirin within arms reach you should take it or if you are not alone ask someone to get one for you.

How do you know if it is chest pain or a heart attack?

Chest pain is serious – if it comes on suddenly, if it spreads to your arms, back, neck or jaw or if the pain feels heavy or tight you should call 999 straight away.

If you become short of breath or start to feel sick after experiencing chest pain then you should also call 999.

The NHS said: “Paramedics would rather be called out to find an honest mistake has been made than be too late to save a person’s life.”

If you do not experience these characteristics there may be another reason for your chest pain such as angina, indigestion or a strained muscle, whatever the cause you should not delay seeking medical assistance.

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