Heart attack is the leading cause of death worldwide. In the U.S. itself, more than one million people have a heart attack every year and about half of these people die. Mortality rate of this condition is high as most people do not seek heart attack treatment on time. This may be because most men are not aware about the symptoms that may indicate a likely onset of this condition. Moreover, heart attack symptoms are more often ignored by people as they may deviate from the conceived expectations.
Heart attack symptoms between men and women differ. Also, in old people the symptoms vary. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) stated in its study that approximately 95% of women who had a heart attack did observe certain symptoms weeks before the attack but the symptoms were not the expected ones such as chest pain. Hence, it is indeed important to learn about heart attack symptoms.
Most ignored heart attack symptoms
- Nausea or upset stomach
This is more often overlooked by people as a case of indigestion. The symptoms may vary from mild to severe nausea, vomiting, and cramping. Some people may experience an ache (cramp-like) in the portion of upper belly. Older men above 60 years and women are probable to witness such a symptom. However, they may not relate it to heart health. All cases of nausea and stomach ache may not lead to heart attack. However, it is essential to be alert for such signs and discuss with the doctor about them.
- Erectile problems
If a man is unable to attain or maintain erections, it may be a signal of some heart problem. However, most men are not able to make such a connection. According to estimates, about two-thirds of men who suffer from heart attacks have experienced erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives.
- Shoulder pain or neck pain
A shooting pain in the shoulder, chest and arm may indicate a sign of heart attack. However, in most cases patients do not experience heart attack pain in such a manner. They may experience pain in the neck or shoulder area that may perhaps travel up to the jaw or ear. Heart attack symptoms in women may vary. For instance, some may feel pain between their shoulder blades. If a person notices pain that is suddenly appearing and fading away, or pain that has move or is radiating upwards, it is suggested to discuss this with the doctor.
- Fatigue, dizziness or breathlessness
Another overlooked symptom is a feeling of fatigue. A person may feel that way for days together. The study by NIH showed that women who had heart attack noticed extreme fatigue in the week or months before the attack. If a person is experiencing strong fatigue that is snatching away the power to do routine activities and arresting him to the bed, it may indicate an onset of a heart attack. A feeling of light-headedness and breathlessness may also indicate the likely onset of heart disease.
- Anxiety or sleeplessness
Heart attack patients have often reported a problem in getting sleep weeks or months before having a heart attack. Hence if a person, who typically does not experience trouble in getting sleep, suddenly confronts insomnia and anxiety for unexplained reasons, he should consult with the doctor for a heart checkup.