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    How to Tell if It's a Heart Attack

    By By Jenilee Matz, MPH, Staff Writer
    October 10, 2012, 8:38:31 AM EDT

    You'll know when you're having a heart attack by that telltale elephant-sitting-on-your-chest feeling, right? Maybe, but not always.


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    Some heart attacks start slowly. You may have some mild chest pain or discomfort. You may not think you're having a heart attack and wait too long to get help. Heart attack symptoms:

    -Chest pain or discomfort, usually in the center of your chest. It may last longer than a few minutes, or it may go away and come back. You may feel pressure, squeezing, pain, or fullness. -Pain or discomfort in other areas. You could have pain in one or both of your arms, neck, jaw, back, or stomach. -Shortness of breath. You may have this with or without chest pain or discomfort. -Other symptoms, such as nausea, breaking out in a cold sweat, or feeling lightheaded.

    In women, like men, the most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are more likely than men to have other symptoms, including: -Indigestion, nausea, or vomiting -Shortness of breath -Neck, back, or jaw pain -Stomach pain or heartburn -Lightheadedness or unusual tiredness -Breaking out in a cold sweat

    Click through to learn what you should do if you think you're having a heart attack:

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