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Could You Have a Heart Attack and Not Know It?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

heart attack risk factors

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  • Although there are several common symptoms of a heart attack, some experience unusual symptoms they may overlook, leading to a more severe and potentially life threatening second heart attack
  • Identify some of the more uncommon symptoms of a heart attack, including tightness in your arm, tingling on your left side, upper back pain, hot flashes and heartburn
  • Data show your risk of a heart attack is affected by your body mass index, smoking and alcohol use, exercise and diet; stress is another factor that can provoke a heart attack
  • Taking quick action when you suspect a heart attack may save a life. Simple changes to your diet, exercise and sleep habits may significantly reduce your risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 735,000 Americans have a heart attack each year, and 525,000 are first heart attacks. When you learn the risk factors, symptoms and how to take early action, it increases your chances of survival.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, some who suffered a heart attack did not act quickly enough to make it to the hospital on time. Delaying treatment can be deadly, so it's important to learn the warning signs.

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