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Pre-Heart Attack Symptoms: Warning Signs to Look For

It’s never too early to know the signs

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It’s never too early to take your heart health seriously as the habits and behaviors you have when you're young will affect you decades down the road. One of the most important things to be aware of are the warning signs of a heart attack. Not everyone experiences the symptom of severe chest pain that many associate with a heart attack. And heart attack symptoms can look different in women than in men. Here are the pre-heart attack warning signs to look for.

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Pay attention to your body or your loved one’s concerns and call 911 if you or they experience uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes.

Symptoms can also include pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body, such as one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

With or without chest discomfort, shortness of breath can be a sign of a heart attack. This could also feel like indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain. Other possible symptoms include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. 

Men and women are both most likely to experience chest pain with a heart attack, but women are more likely than men to show other symptoms, especially shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and back or jaw pain.


Knowledge is power when it comes to managing your heart health. Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack is just one of the best ways to take care of your heart, according to cardiologists.