Did you know that a heart attack has an “onset” that can happen days or weeks before the actual attack? It is important to recognize these onsets with the help of an EHAC practitioner to prevent an actual attack and its potential health consequences. People often mistake the first symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain, heartburn, or muscle cramps. Unfortunately, many people wait too long before seeking help.
At The Hospitals of Providence, we have a team of cardiologists, nurses, and staff dedicated to helping men and women recognize the early signs of a heart attack, the EHAC program. We offer relief and treatment options for these symptoms and help prevent emergencies.
What is a heart attack?
Each year, approximately 1.2 million Americans suffer a heart attack, also known as a heart attack. This is a medical emergency that occurs when part of the heart muscle is not getting enough blood. This usually happens when fatty deposits build up over time, forming plaque in the arteries of the heart and blocking blood flow. Blockages also limit oxygen and nutrients to your heart.
Heart attacks are sometimes seen as a man’s problem. But in fact, more women than men die of heart disease in the United States each year. More than 80,000 people die from heart attacks every year, and an average of 50% of these patients have warning signs but are ignored.
What are the first symptoms of a heart attack?
Heart attack symptoms in women are different than in men. But the common signs and symptoms they often share are as follows.
Chest pain and discomfort: The discomfort usually lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. Discomfort may include a feeling of pressure, tightness, fullness, or pain in the center of the chest.
Discomfort elsewhere in the upper body: This may include pain or discomfort in the back, jaw, stomach, or one or both arms.
Shortness of breath: This may or may not occur before chest pain or discomfort.
Cold sweat is flowing
Nausea or dizziness
At the same time, symptoms of heart attack in women are sometimes not noticed. This includes the following:
Pressure, fullness, squeezing pain in center of chest, spreading to neck, shoulders, and jaw
Unusual shortness of breath
Pressure or discomfort in the upper abdomen
If you experience these early warning signs of a heart attack, don’t delay getting help. Make an appointment with your cardiologist at The Hospitals of Providence as soon as possible. Treatment is often most effective in the early stages of chest pain, so early treatment is important. In the case of a heart attack, call 9-1-1 for immediate medical attention.
What are the risk factors for a heart attack?
Some conditions that may increase your risk of myocardial infarction include:
Family history of heart disease
High blood cholesterol
High blood pressure
Obesity and overweight
Too much stress