Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, where no one doubts what is occurring. However, most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

  • Chest discomfort – Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest which lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body – Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath – May occur with or without chest discomfort. Other signs – These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Not all of these signs are apparent in every heart attack. Many times women suffer more of the " other signs" noted above. If you or someone you love suffers from some of these symptoms, don't wait. Call 9-1-1 immediately.