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​​​​​If you, or someone you know, a​re experiencing symptoms of a heart attack,
call 9-1-1 immediately.

Knowing what happens when a heart attack​ starts may save your life. Most heart attacks actually develop slowly with pain or discomfort that you may not al​​ways connect to your heart. Common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Chest discomfort: Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts longer than 15 minutes or goes away and comes back. Many people describe the discomfort as building to an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or burning pain; others report an unbearable crushing pain or persistent tightness in the chest.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: Pain or discomfort may travel to one or both shoulders or arms, the back, neck, and even the jaw or teeth. Some people experience a sustained, burning discomfort in the upper abdomen near the breastbone that may feel like indigestion.
  • Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath can accompany feelings of chest discomfort during a heart attack, but it also can occur before any chest pain is felt. Some people may also faint during a heart attack.
  • Other symptoms: Some people report breaking out in a cold sweat, feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated, belching or vomiting. Chest pain may not accompany these symptoms. Some people experience clammy skin or skin that turns pale or blue, particularly around the mouth.​

In women, symptoms may be slightly different. Most women will experience pain or discomfort in their chest but some may not. Other symptoms that a woman might experience include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or discomfort in the center of the back or in the jaw​

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