Heart Attacks Can Give Advance Notice
If you know what to look for, a heart attack can signal its impending arrival. Certain symptoms may begin up to a few weeks in advance of a heart event. By keeping a close eye on your health, you can help prevent death, or life-altering damage, from a heart attack.
Know the signs of a heart attack
According to the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the following symptoms forewarn that a heart attack may be imminent. If you experience any of these, go to an Emergency Department immediately:
- Chest discomfort
- Chest pressure
- Chest ache
- Chest burning
- Chest fullness
- Chest squeezing
Other vague symptoms can also indicate a heart attack is looming in the coming hours, days or weeks. If any of these symptoms begin suddenly, or persist, get prompt medical help:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Back pain
- Pain in one or both arms
- Jaw pain
Heart attacks are the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. Each year more than 800,000 Americans have a heart attack.
Call 911 if you or a loved one are experiencing any signs of a heart attack.
CPR training can help you save a life in the event of a heart attack. Watch the Hands Only CPR video to learn more.
It is important to know whether you are at risk for a heart attack. Visit the ACC calculator to help jumpstart a discussion with your provider about lowering your risk, if needed.
Certain heart attack symptoms can begin up to a month before one actually strikes, so it's important to monitor your health. Early intervention at the onset of symptoms can help to prevent sudden death or further cardiac damage.