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Heart Attack Signs & Symptoms: How to Know if You’re Having a Heart Attack

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in America—with approximately 460,000 related deaths due to a sudden and unforeseen heart attack. Of those who die, almost half suffer an attack so suddenly that they don’t have time to call an ambulance or get to a hospital in time.

When we think of a heart attack, most of us picture someone clutching their chest and falling to the ground. While this is how a heart attack happens on the big screen, it isn’t necessarily an accurate depiction of how a heart attack will occur. There are many other signs and symptoms people can experience, especially women. Here are 15 early warning signs to look out for…

1. Sweating

Leading up to a heart attack, many patients notice profuse, cold sweating without any exertion or apparent reason. Your clothes and skin may become soaked in cold sweat, and your face may turn pale or white as a sheet. When your arteries are clogged, it can take more effort for your heart to pump blood through them. As a result, your body will try to maintain a safe temperature, causing you to sweat from the extra effort by your heart.

Excessive sweating can also be a sign of heart problems, not just a heart attack. You could experience this both during the day and at night. If you’re sweating a lot and you aren’t exercising or doing something that requires exertion while it happens, it could be because of your heart. Even if you aren’t having a heart attack, this symptom should be taken seriously. Go to your doctor so he or she can run tests that can eliminate or identify the cause of sweating.

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