Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The American Heart Association estimates that one in five Americans have one or more types of cardiovascular disease. Types of cardiovascular disease include high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, rheumatic fever/rheumatic heart disease, congenital cardiovascular defects and congestive heart failure.
It's important to know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack so you can take action and save your heart muscle.
Possible early symptoms of heart attack
- Pain that travels down one or both arms
- Jaw pain
- Chest pressure, squeezing or discomfort
- Back pain
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling of fullness
- Mild chest symptoms such as pressure, burning, aching or tightness; these symptoms may come and go, but eventually they will become more regular and painful.
All of the Valley Health System hospitals are accredited as a Chest Pain Center with percutaneous coronary intervention by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.
Learn how to help
Heart attacks have beginnings that may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain, or weakness. These feelings may occur hours or weeks before an actual heart attack. And women have more subtle symptoms than men.
If you or someone you’re with experiences a possible heart attack symptoms, don't hesitate. Call 911 to activate Emergency Medical Service.
By recognizing early possible symptoms, you can take action and call for medical attention before heart damage occurs. You must be aware and not dismiss physical sensations. If caught before a heart attack actually happens, immediate treatment can save lives. It’s not necessary for someone to feel more than one symptom. And rarely does anyone who has a heart attack experience all symptoms.