7 Early Signs of a Heart Attack You Shouldn’t Ignore

February 17th, 2017 No Comments

American Heart Month Heart Disease and Aging Visiting Angels New Jersey

In 2013, New Jersey was ranked as having the 25th highest death rate from cardiovascular disease in the country. Although the ranking is now five spots from the previous year heart disease remains the number one killer in the New Jersey.  More recent statistics reported by the United Health Foundation for 2016, 3.7% to 4.2 % of adults in New Jersey reported that they had a heart disease or a heart attack by a healthcare professional.

The average age of a first heart attack is between 66 and 70, New Jersey families must recognize early signs of a heart attack to give themselves or their aging loved ones the best chance of recovery. February is American Heart Month–so it’s a perfect time to learn these symptoms.

1. Shortness of Breath

If your loved one is experiencing shortness of breath, they could be suffering from a heart attack. Shortness of breath may present alone or in combination with other symptoms, like chest discomfort.

2. Discomfort in the Chest

Chest discomfort is one of the earliest and most obvious symptoms of a heart attack. Of course, this discomfort can be a sign of several medical conditions. Since it’s the most common sign of a heart attack, though, it’s important not to waste time.

3. Nausea, Heartburn and Other Stomach Issues

Heartburn, nausea, indigestion and a variety of other stomach-related issues can accompany a heart attack. While these symptoms could point towards numerous issues, you should seek medical assistance immediately if your loved one is at an increased risk for heart attacks.

4. Pain in Other Areas of the Body

The pain related to a heart attack will often travel down the arms and even cause headaches and back pain. Although less common, some individuals have reported toothaches or jaw pain before having a heart attack.

5. Cold Sweats and Lightheadedness

Two other early signs of a heart attack are cold sweats and lightheadedness. These early warning signs won’t necessarily occur together or even at all. It should be noted that the American Heart Association says to seek medical help immediately if experiencing these symptoms.

6. Exhaustion

It’s common to get fatigued after doing certain activities, but if older adults experience unusual exhaustion during daily activities, it could be a sign of a heart attack. The important thing is to know your body and how it reacts to physical exertion.

7. Irregular Heartbeat

It’s completely normal for a person’s heart to occasionally speed up, slow down or even skip a beat. If this is happening frequently or for longer than a few seconds, though, you should seek medical attention. This could be a sign of several conditions, none of which you want to ignore.

To learn more about the what factors can put your loved on at risk for a heart attack, schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional.

If you have a loved one in need of in home care after a heart attack or stroke, contact Visiting Angels. Our Angels are well trained to assist your loved one in their recovery, manage their medications and help them get back to living the best independent life as possible. Call (609)-833-8188 to learn more about home care services today.

Read more about the risk factors of heart disease on our Community Resource Page. Our Community Resource Bulletin also offers tips on caring for an older adult or aging senior who has had a heart attack or stroke.


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