Heart attack symptoms can appear rapidly, without warning.
Your risk of a heart attack is increased if you have a high-fat diet, are a smoker, have high blood pressure, have high cholesterol or are overweight, according to the NHS.
These increase your risk of coronary heart disease, which is when blood vessels leading from your heart get clogged up with deposits of cholesterol, or fats.
In a heart attack one of these may become damaged, causing it to block the blood vessel. This stops the blood supply to the heart, suddenly triggering this dangerous event.
You must know the symptoms and act quickly, to reduce the risk of the heart attack being fatal.
As many as one person every three minutes dies of a heart attack in the UK, according to the British Heart Foundation.
There are three important warning signs you should look out for, according to the American Heart Association.
“Don’t wait to get help if you experience [or see someone experiencing] any of these heart attack warning signs,” said the organisation on its website.
“Although some heart attacks are sudden and intense, most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your body – and call 999 if you feel [these symptoms].”
This could be just a small uncomfortable feeling in the area where your heart is. It could feel like a “squeezing, fullness” or just general “pain”, according to the Association.
“Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the centre of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back,” they said.
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
Another warning sign that someone is having a heart attack is a general feeling that something is wrong in the upper body.
“Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach,” says the Association.
Shortness of breath
Being unable to breath properly could also be a sign of the heart attack.
This may appear with or without discomfort in the chest.
Other symptoms that the Association said you should watch out for include breaking into a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.
The Association also says that heart attack symptoms could be different between men and women.
“As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.”
You may be able to prevent a heart attack by trying these three foods, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Reducing your salt intake will help as it will lower blood pressure, although it will involve cutting out canned soups and ketchup, among other items.
Eating more fruit and vegetables and limiting consumption of unhealthy fats will also help.
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