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Does heart attack always mean chest pain? You might be surprised at the answer

Posted Feb 25 2012 10:16pm

We all know the classic symptoms of a heart attack: crushing chest pain, shortness of breath, pain going up the arms and weakness. Or at least we thought we knew. While chest pain is still the most frequent symptom in men and women, there are many cases where patients experience no chest pain. And it’s important to note that men and women can experience different symptoms. For instance, a woman may experience sleep disturbance, fatigue, cold sweats and dizziness leading up to a heart attack.

It’s a scary thought because you want to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and get to the emergency room immediately.

In a New York Times piece written by Anahad O’Connor , Dr. John G. Canto, director of the chest pain center at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Florida says, “We think part of the reason is that women who are presenting with a heart attack might not have the classical presentation.” Canto is author of a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The article mentions that heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women throughout the world.


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