Saturday, January 7, 2012

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Heart disease is a leading cause of death for Canadian men and women.1 Chest pain (a classic symptom of angina or heart attack) occurs when not enough blood is reaching the heart muscles due to the narrowing of the heart's coronary arteries or complete blockage of these arteries. Learn the signs of a heart attack and the steps to take if you or a loved one experience these signs: Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the centre of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back Pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck or arms Chest discomfort with lightheadness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath Atypical chest pain, stomach or abdominal pain; nausea or dizziness Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing Unexplained anxiety, weakness or fatigue
Not all of these signs occur in every attack. Sometimes they go away and return. If any occur, get help fast.
If you or someone else is having heart attack warning signs, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
Speak to your doctor to determine your level of risk and to discuss what measures you can take to reduce the risk of heart attack.
1 Selected leading causes of death by sex, Canada, 1997. Statistics Canada. (November 22, 2002).