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Heart Attack Warning Signs

A heart attack is when blood flow to your heart is blocked. This usually occurs when a build up of fatty material (plaque) occurs inside one or more of the arteries around your heart. A blood clot can form when part of this plaque ruptures and interrupt blood flow to the heart, resulting in a heart attack.

Preventing a Heart Attack

While a heart attack is a condition that comes on suddenly, the narrowing of the arteries develops over time. This narrowing of the arteries is called atherosclerosis. Take steps to reduce atherosclerosis now to reduce your chances of having a heart attack: Lower blood cholesterol levels, keep your blood pressure in a healthy range, eat a heart healthy diet, exercise every day, don't smoke, and maintain a healthy weight.

A heart attack is a severe emergency. But quick medical attention is important - there are procedures and medicines that can be given to increase your chance of recovery.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

  • Chest discomfort
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweats, nausea or lightheadedness

You may not have all of these warning signs if you have a heart attack. Even if you don't have severe chest pain, you may be having a heart attack. Women, more than men, may experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs of a heart attack, call for help immediately!


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