According to the American College of Cardiology, 785,000 Americans have their first heart attack each year. A heart attack can occur at any time- and they are not always sudden and intense. The Society of Chest Pain Centers reports that 50% of sudden cardiac deaths occur outside of a hospital, suggesting that many people do not act on early warning signs. Only 27% of people surveyed were aware of all major heart attack symptoms and knew to call 9-1-1.
Heart attacks are not always sudden and intense. Many heart attacks start slowly with only mild pain or discomfort. Some people do not experience chest pain but instead have other signs. Signs of a heart attack include:
Women may have other, less common warning signs of heart attacks, including:
If you or someone you love is experiencing any sign or symptoms of a heart attack, call 9-1-1 and go directly to the emergency room.