A heart attack occurs when there is a sudden interruption in the heart’s blood supply caused by a blockage in the coronary arteries, which carry blood to the heart muscle. This lack of blood flow quickly damages the heart muscle, causing tissue to die. Immediate emergency intervention has dramatically helped reduce the number of deaths from heart attacks.
Heart attack symptoms may not always be severe. They can include pain or pressure in the chest, discomfort that spreads to the back, jaw, throat or arm, and feelings of nausea, indigestion or heartburn. Weakness, anxiety, shortness of breath and rapid or irregular heartbeats also may be experienced.
Women don’t always feel chest pain with a heart attack. They are also more likely than men to have heartburn, loss of appetite, tiredness or weakness, coughing and heart flutters.