how to recougnize heart attacks well in advance

The leading cause of death in the USA is heart attack, with 25% of deaths due to it. It even outranks cancer on the list! The three major culprits are high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and smoking.

According to the CDC, there are five conditions which will increase the risk of heart attack: diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol abuse. About half of the heart attacks happen outside hospitals, and early detection is the key to survival. A study conducted by the CDC in 2005 showed that 92% of people recognized chest discomfort as a heart attack symptom. However, only 27% of them knew what was happening and called 911 for help.

Symptoms of a heart attack

Here are the symptoms you must learn to recognize as a potential heart attack. These signs can occur even a month before the attack.

Chest discomfort

The most common symptom which occurs in different forms. Some people may feel light pressure in their chest, others will experience pinching or burning. These unusual feelings will occur during rest or physical activity. If you feel them, contact a doctor right away.

Note: heart attacks in women often occur without this feeling in the chest.

Feeling tired

Feeling tired for no apparent reason could be a sign of an impending heart attack. The heart works harder as the arteries begin to close, making simple tasks exhausting. This will result with increased sleeping hours or feeling like you need to take several naps daily.

Long lasting cold symptoms

Sure, cold symptoms take their time, but if they won’t go away it could be a sign of a heart attack. Blood can go back into the lungs with the heart struggling to supply the body with it. Be aware of pink mucus in your cough – it’s a byproduct of blood leakage.


As the heart struggles to pump blood into the body, veins will begin to swell. This is usually seen in the feet, ankles and legs – the points farthest from the heart. Peripheral cyanosis is also likely to occur, with an appearance of a blue tinge in the lips or extremities.


The brain may not receive proper oxygen amounts as the blood circulation is restricted, causing you to feel constantly dizzy or light headed. This is a major cause for concern so you need to visit a doctor immediately.

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath also signalizes heart attack. The heart and lungs work in unity, so if the heart works poorly, the lungs won’t get enough oxygen, leading to difficulties in breathing which needs to be treated at once.

All of these symptoms can occur even a month before the heart attack. Be aware of them at all times and seek medical attention accordingly. Protect yourself early and take charge of your health.