All heart attacks present with chest pain, right? No, this is another one of those myths which circulate and can cause major problems. Some patients will think-heck I don’t have any chest pain so no worries. And sometimes, if they don’t, a heart attack can be missed. About 25% of heart attack victims will die on the scene, so this is no small thing, if the heart attack is not treated.
Women, who endowed with the X chromosome and in most cases have experienced the pains of childbirth, are much more likely not to experience chest pain than men. Men tend complain more (just ask my wife)and so heart attacks are less likely to be missed.
Fatigue is a common complaint, but if you have risks for heart disease such as high blood pressure, elevated lipids, diabetes, known heart disease or obesity, new complaints of feeling tired should be checked out sooner than later. Belly pain, another common issue, may also be coming from the heart, especially if the pain is in the upper parts of your abdomen.
Elderly patients might present only with confusion. Patients who have suffered from strokes or have dementia might not be able to express their pain well, so any changes in their behavior or activity level could be from heart problems.
Jaw, arm or back pain are other complaints which can be due to a heart attack. Palpitations or rapid heart rate sometimes is seen with heart problems. Unusually, patients can present with a sore throat, headache or other seemingly unrelated issues.
Bottom line if you experience any one of these problems and have risks for heart attacks, consider going to the ER right away.