Signs And Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack or Stroke

Knowing the signs of a heart attack can save a life—perhaps your own.
Knowing the signs of a heart attack can save a life—perhaps your own.

If you or someone you are with has any of the signs or symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, call 911 right away.

Emergency medical service staff can begin treatment when they arrive, which can be much sooner than if someone goes by car. Do not drive yourself unless you have absolutely no other choice.

What are the signs of a heart attack?

Most Common Signs

  • Pressure, fullness, squeezing, tightness or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
  • Pain that spreads to the shoulders, jaw, neck or arms
  • Chest discomfort along with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath

Less Common Signs

  • Unusual chest, stomach or abdominal pain
  • Unexplained nausea or dizziness
  • Numbness of arms
  • Shortness of breath (difficulty breathing) without chest discomfort
  • Unexplained anxiety, weakness or fatigue
  • Palpitations, cold sweat or paleness
  • Feeling of fullness

Note that women often experience different symptoms.

 

Learn more by downloading Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms.

More information on these topics is also available through our online health encyclopedia.

 

What are the signs of a stroke?