women heart attack
What is a heart attack?
A heart attack (or myocardial infarction) occurs when a coronary artery, one of the blood vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle, becomes blocked. The area of heart muscle that does not receive blood begins to die. The seriousness of a heart attack depends on how much of the heart is affected. Often the surrounding healthy muscle keeps working, allowing the heart to keep pumping while the injured muscle heals and recovers some of its strength.
The signs of a heart attack can be subtle and hard to identify. Many people don't recognize the symptoms even when they are in the middle of a major heart attack. The amount of time that passes before you receive treatment can mean the difference between life and death. Learn about the symptoms of heart disease and your own risk factors. Get help immediately even if you are not sure you are having a heart attack.
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Does a heart attack always cause severe chest pain?
A heart attack feels different to different people. Even if you have already had a heart attack, a second one may not feel the same. You may feel pain in any of the areas of the body shown below. Or you may feel pain only in your arms, jaw, or back. Other warning signs of a heart attack include dizziness, fainting, sweating, nausea, or weakness.
Angina--a feeling of pain, heaviness, tightness, burning, or squeezing in your chest--is an indication that you have heart disease and are at risk of having a heart attack. Angina occurs when the heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen because of a temporary narrowing of one of the coronary arteries that supply it with oxygen-rich blood. Angina usually occurs during physical exertion or emotional stress.
Tell your doctor immediately if you have any symptoms of angina, which are similar to those of an actual heart attack. Prompt treatment for angina can prevent you from having a heart attack. Many people experience angina for years, but do not seek treatment and eventually have a heart attack.
Posted on 12/2013
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