Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Acute MI Symptoms

The most common symptom of a heart attack includes:

  • Chest pain:
    • Dull, heavy, squeezing, or pressure-like chest pain
    • Pain is usually located under the breastbone or on the left side of the chest
    • Chest pain usually lasts for longer than 20 minutes
    • Chest pain may be triggered by physical exertion
    • Chest pain may be relieved with rest
    • Chest pain caused by a heart attack may spread to other locations.

Additional locations for heart attack pain include:

Additional symptoms of heart attack include:

People who over the age of 70 are more likely to have atypical symptoms when having a heart attack. Many of these people will report no chest pain at all. The elderly often complain of one or more of the following symptoms when suffering a heart attack:

Many people who suffer a heart attack also have:

Continue to Acute MI Evaluation

Last Updated: Jan 24, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Acute MI References
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  2. Brown TL, Merrill J, Hill P, Bengel FM. Relationship of coronary calcium and myocardial perfusion in individuals with chest pain. Assessed by integrated rubidium-82 PET-CT. Nuklearmedizin. 2008;47(6):255-260. [19057799]
  3. Hansson GK. Inflammation, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease. N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 21;352(16):1685-95. [15843671]
  4. Jaumdally R, Lip GY, Varma C. Percutaneous coronary interventions for coronary artery disease: the long and short of optimizing medical therapy. Int J Clin Pract. 2005 Sep;59(9):1070-81. [16115184]
  5. Lewandrowski K, Chen A, Januzzi J. Cardiac markers for myocardial infarction. A brief review. Am J Clin Pathol. 2002 Dec;118 Suppl:S93-9. [14569816]
  6. Perers E, Caidahl K, Herlitz J, Karlson BW, Karlsson T, Hartford M. Treatment and short-term outcome in women and men with acute coronary syndromes. Int J Cardiol. 2005 Aug 18;103(2):120-7. [16080968]
  7. Sheridan PJ, Crossman DC. Critical review of unstable angina and non-ST elevation myocardial infarction. Postgrad Med J. 2002 Dec;78(926):717-26. [12509688]
  8. Thuresson M, Jarlov MB, Lindahl B, Svensson L, Zedigh C, Herlitz J. Symptoms and type of symptom onset in acute coronary syndrome in relation to ST elevation, sex, age, and a history of diabetes. Am Heart J. 2005 Aug;150(2):234-42. [16086924]
  9. Yilmaz H, Basarici I. Troponin levels and acute coronary syndrome. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005 Aug 16;46(4):741. [1609845]
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