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Signs and Symptoms

The signs of coronary artery disease can vary. Some people have no symptoms at all, which is fairly typical during the early stages of the disease. For others, chest pain or chest pressure – or even a heart attack – might be the first sign of blockages in the heart's arteries.

Chest pain or discomfort (also known as angina) is the most common symptom of reduced blood flow to the heart. It occurs when the heart isn't getting enough oxygen or blood. People describe it as pain, pressure, squeezing or fullness in their chest. But this feeling can also be very subtle.

Chest pain or discomfort can be brought on by activity or extreme emotion, but it usually goes away with rest. You may also feel short of breath, weak or unusually tired.

Severe narrowing or blockage of an artery can also lead to heart attack, which can happen when plaque ruptures into the artery and a clot forms to heal the injury.

When to Call for Help
If you think you are having a heart attack, don't question it. Act fast and dial 911 if you or a loved one has any of these symptoms.

Heart Attack Symptoms

Chest pain or discomfort is the most common symptom of a heart attack for both men and women. But women are more likely than men to have additional symptoms, such as nausea and shortness of breath. 

Chest Pain Can Feel LikeOther Symptoms Include
  • Chest pressure, tightness, squeezing or burning
  • Discomfort in your chest, shoulders, arms, back, neck, or jaw
  • Pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual or extreme tiredness
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cold sweat
  • Anxiety
  • Last Edited 10/28/2021