Know the Signs of a Heart Attack 
and What To Do

Did you know the average age of a first heart attack is 65 for men and 72 for women? Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women?

Heart attacks are more common than you might think

It is important to be prepared and act quickly if you suspect you or someone else is having one. Fast action can save a life.

Signs of a possible heart attack include:

  • Pressure or tightness in the chest or arms. This tightness also can spread to the neck, jaw, and back.
  • Shortness of breath, cold sweats, or dizziness.
  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn, and abdominal pain.

If you suspect someone is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately

An ambulance can bring aid and transport a person to the hospital far more quickly than if you drive yourself.

One of the gravest mistakes when it comes to heart attacks is people not seeking treatment because they doubt they are having a heart attack. Don’t take a chance and don’t wait. Your life—or the life of someone you know—could be at stake.


“Warning Signs of a Heart Attack.” 
Heart.Org, American Heart Association, Inc., 30 June 2016,

"Older Americans & Cardiovascular Diseases Statistical Fact Sheet" 
Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL, Benjamin EJ, Berry JD, Borden WB, Bravata DM, Dai S, Ford ES, Fox CS, Franco S, Fullerton HJ, Gillespie C, 
Hailpern SM, Heit JA, Howard VJ, Huffman MD, Kissela BM, Kittner SJ, Lackland DT, Lichtman JH, Lisabeth LD, Magid D, Marcus GM, Marelli A, 
Matchar DB, McGuire DK, Mohler ER, Moy CS, Mussolino ME, Nichol G, Paynter NP, Schreiner PJ, Sorlie PD, Stein J, Turan TN, Virani SS, Wong ND, 
Woo D, Turner MB; on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. 
Heart disease and stroke statistics—2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association..2013;127:e6-e245.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Heartburn or Heart Attack: When to Worry.” 
Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), 7 June 2017,

Updated October 1, 2021