Heart attack - symptoms, the first signs in women and men

Heart diseases “grow younger” every year, and if earlier a heart attack could only happen in an elderly person or a patient with a congenital disease, today an unexpected attack is increasingly haunting young people. To provide timely assistance, you need to know how to determine a heart attack and what are its first signs.

Signs of a heart attack

Some are familiar with a disease such as a heart attack - symptoms, the first signs of it can not be confused with other diseases. With this ailment, the heart muscle is affected, often it is caused by a violation of its blood supply due to blockage by atherosclerotic plaques of one of the cardiac arteries. In this case, the affected muscle dies, necrosis develops. Cells begin to die 20 minutes after the cessation of blood flow. The first signs of a heart attack:

  • severe chest pain extending to the left shoulder, half of the neck, arm, to the space between the shoulder blades;
  • feeling of fear;
  • drawing pains of limbs;
  • nitroglycerin does not provide relief;
  • an attack can last from 10 minutes to several hours;
  • the arrhythmic form is accompanied by a rapid pulse;
  • blood pressure drops sharply;
  • with an asthmatic form, suffocation occurs, the skin suddenly turns pale;
  • cerebral infarction is accompanied by loss of consciousness, the symptoms of this form resemble a stroke: the patient's speech becomes incomprehensible, coordination of movements is disturbed.

In the presence of symptoms, an ambulance must be called urgently, before her arrival, you can take nitroglycerin tablets (0.5 mg) at intervals of 15 minutes, but no more than three times so that a sharp drop in pressure does not occur. At risk are mainly elderly people, active smokers. Diabetes, alcoholism, and obesity can become the cause of the attack.

In a woman

Women are also at risk of undermining their health with a heart attack. This is due to the production of estrogens, which affect the expansion of blood vessels and the beneficial functioning of the heart muscle. But with hormonal failure (ovulation, pregnancy, menopause), estrogen production is reduced. And this leads to disruptions in the work of the cardiovascular system. How to recognize a heart attack in women? The attack can begin several hours before the peak of exacerbation, it is important to understand this in time and seek help. The first symptoms of a heart attack in women:

  • burning in the upper abdomen;
  • severe pain that radiates to the left arm and part of the chest;
  • increased sweating;
  • pain in the upper abdomen;
  • heaviness in the chest;
  • stitching heart pain;
  • numbness of the limbs;
  • aching toothache;
  • discomfort in the jaw;
  • pain in the back of the head;
  • vomiting reflex;
  • dyspnea;
  • a sharp decrease in blood pressure;
  • dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • bronchospasm;
  • panic attacks;
  • swelling of the legs and feet;
  • anxiety;
  • slurred speech;
  • feeling of fear;
  • pulmonary edema.

In men

The death of heart cells due to a clot in a thrombus of one of the coronary vessels causes a heart attack, more often than others it occurs in the stronger sex. The treatment of such diseases, including stroke and angina pectoris, cannot be carried out at home, be sure to seek help from specialists, otherwise there will be unpleasant consequences. An attack can be spontaneous (primary) or repeated at certain time intervals. The first symptoms of a heart attack in a man:

  • dyspnea;
  • pressing sharp pains in the left hand, chest, shoulder blade;
  • oxygen deficiency conditions;
  • toothache;
  • numbness of the chest;
  • nausea
  • lowering blood pressure;
  • general lethargic state of the body;
  • arrhythmia;
  • heavy sweating;
  • sleep disturbance;
  • dental problems (periodontal disease, bleeding gums);
  • arrhythmia (the reason is coronary artery dysfunction).

Myocardial infarction - symptoms

An acute heart attack is accompanied by severe chest pains that can even cause shock. Sometimes the symptoms of a heart attack are vague, especially for women. In this case, the attack is easily mistaken for fatigue or flu, it is especially dangerous, because the patient may not understand the seriousness of the disease. If you do not seek help, then the risk of death increases several times. To prevent the disease, you need to know the main symptoms of myocardial infarction:

  • chest pain and discomfort;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • pain in the upper body, extending to the back, arms, neck, teeth;
  • labored breathing;
  • anxiety;
  • panic attack;
  • dizziness;
  • profuse sweating;
  • possible fainting.

Heart attack pressure

Certain conditions help to recognize the signs of an attack on time. As a rule, harbingers of a heart attack (sleep disturbance, fatigue) often occur several days before the moment when the blood flow is blocked and necrosis begins. Myocardial pressure rises. But this is only the first day, then it falls. Low blood pressure can lead to the development of cerebral anemia, which is accompanied by fainting and clouding of consciousness. Normalization of pressure is considered a positive phenomenon.


If a person begins to increase the pulse, then this is a signal for the development of the disease. As a rule, the pulse for a heart attack is 50-60 beats per minute. The skin during palpation in severe cases is often cold, while the pulse is palpated weakly, interruptions are noted. The wider the attack, the more pronounced tachycardia (heart palpitations) and faster the pulse.


A heart attack is accompanied by severe chest pains that radiate to the left arm. In this case, the person feels a tingling sensation. In certain cases, pain from the hand can turn into numbness, reflected in the neck, shoulders, and jaw. There are abdominal pains, discomforts are noted in the stomach, navel area. The duration of heart attack pain is approximately 20 minutes. With angina and stroke, the discomfort may be the same, so a specialist can accurately make a diagnosis. There are atypical forms of pain masquerading as other ailments:

  • The asthmatic form of the disease resembles an asthma attack. A person develops a cough, a feeling of chest congestion. Exhausted facial expression, lips - blue, breathing - noisy.
  • An abdominal illness is characterized by pain in the upper abdomen. The disease is accompanied by vomiting, nausea, bloating, hiccups, and diarrhea.
  • The cerebral form is characterized by nausea, loss of consciousness, abdominal pain.

Leg heart attack - symptoms

Some people with a high threshold of sensitivity, hypoxia and hypertension of the heart muscle may not experience obvious symptoms of a heart attack, so they carry it on their feet. In many cases, we are talking about micro-infarcts, when only a small area of ​​the heart muscle is affected. At the same time, there is no prolonged and sharp pain, from obvious signs there are pressure surges, malaise, nausea. Women are less susceptible to such attacks than men, due to their greater resistance to pain and body characteristics. Signs of a heart attack in men on their legs:

  • pallor of the skin;
  • pulmonary edema;
  • a sharp decrease in blood pressure;
  • heart rhythm disturbance (arrhythmia);
  • pulse weakening;
  • panic attack.


A rare variant of ischemic kidney disease is a heart attack. Its appearance provokes a complete and sudden cessation of blood flow through the large arterial renal vessel. Infrequently, a kidney heart attack occurs - its symptoms depend on the extent of the lesion. With a small attack, signs of the disease may be completely absent. A major malaise is manifested by an admixture of blood in the urine and a sharp back pain. Can still develop:

  • arterial hypertension;
  • chronic renal failure;
  • decreased urine output;
  • body temperature rises;
  • severe nausea;
  • vomiting
  • the huge content of urates, if we consider the analysis of urine.
Attention! The information presented in the article is for guidance only. Materials of the article do not call for independent treatment. Only a qualified doctor can make a diagnosis and give recommendations for treatment based on the individual characteristics of a particular patient.