If you suffer a heart attack, that is.
So you know, of course, that heart attack present with chest pain because every hospital-based or medical TV show that has included an episode with someone having a a heart attack (is there any such show that hasn’t?) has given dramatic evidence of the most common symptom of a heart attack, namely chest pain.
But what about the many millions of people who are suffering a heart attack and don’t have the typical chest-clutching pain associated with that problem?
And I do mean millions and millions cuz a new study published in European Heart Journal – Acute Cardiovascular Care has concluded that one in four – a huge 25 % – heart attack patients have “atypical” symptoms such as breathing difficulties, extreme exhaustion, and abdominal pain, especially older women.
And unfortunately, in this huge study from Denmark where they keep meticulous records of everything to do with Danes’ health, rates of death following a heart attack were significantly higher among heart attack patients with atypical symptoms than they were among those with chest pain as the main symptom.
Bottom line: If you’re in a higher-risk category for suffering a heart attack, and really, anyone over age 50 or so is in some sort of higher-risk category, then nearly any symptom north of your lower belly should be cause to at least question whether that symptom is an indication of an impending heart attack.
And if you think it might be, call 9-1-1, take an ASA, and wait for the emergency responders to arrive.
This might just save your life.