What are the major signs of a heart attack?
It's an important question but, unfortunately, fewer than one in three Americans know the five most common warning signs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed over 70,000 adults to assess their knowledge of heart attack symptoms. They found only 31% knew all five:
-Shortness of breath
-Pain in the jaw, neck, or back
-Pain in the arm or shoulder
-Weakness or lightheadedness
The survey also found that women, whites, and those with more education were more likely to know these symptoms than men, minorities, and those with less education. It's critical to know the warning signs so that immediate action can be taken. Interventions, such as clot-busting drugs, may save lives - but, they are most effective when given within the first hour of the onset of symptoms.
The CDC recommends aggressive education efforts to increase the awareness of the major warning signs. In the meantime, study the above symptoms and commit them to memory. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself, or others, call 911 immediately. That simple call may save a life.To learn more about the survey, see this from Reuters. To read more about heart attack and stroke warning signs, see this from the American Heart Associations.