Health & Wellness

What are the Symptoms of Heart Attack and Stroke

Are you curious about what are the symptoms of heart attack and stroke? A heart attack and stroke is a common health condition for both men and women. The survival rate is high, and people can enjoy a normal life after this traumatic incident. People must be aware of the warnings and symptoms and take necessary precautions in an emergency.

Ever wondered what happens during a heart attack? During this period, blood flow is stopped, and the heart muscles do not receive adequate oxygen to perform their functions. Other terms used for heart attack are myocardial infarction, cardiac infarction, and coronary thrombosis.

In This Article

  1. What are the Symptoms of Heart Attack and Stroke
  2. Symptoms of Stroke
  3. Risk Factors for Heart Attack and Stroke
  4. Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention
  5. What to do If you have Symptoms of Heart Attack and Stroke

What are the Symptoms of Heart Attack and Stroke

Warning signs of heart attack are the same for both the genders-

What are the Symptoms of Heart Attack and Stroke

1. Chest Pain and Discomfort

The patient suffering from a heart attack and stroke will feel pressure and tightness in the chest, which can radiate towards the chest, arms, neck, jaw, or back.

The pain can be in one arm or both arms. The chest pain happens on the center or the left-hand side of the chest.

The pain lasts for a few minutes and can occur frequently.

People may mislead the pain to be heartburn or indigestion. Often bloating also causes pain and discomfort in the chest. In women, chest pain cannot be considered a warning sign.

Other symptoms should be checked along with chest pain, such as abdominal discomfort, pain radiating towards the arm, neck, and jaw, nausea, vomiting, etc.

Make a note that people will not have all of the same symptoms. The symptoms will vary from person to person based on the intensity of the heart attack. People can have mild to severe pain.

Few people may not feel pain at all. No symptoms may be dangerous and can result in cardiac arrest.

Heart attack and stroke may occur suddenly, but one will have a warning hour to weeks before the heart attack.

The first sign of heart attack is chest pain aggravated by exercise and increased physical activity. The pain results because of decreased blood flow to the heart.

2. Shortness of Breath

The person suffering from a heart attack and stroke will feel difficult to breathe. The problem arises due to constriction and tightness of the chest.

The shortness of breath will happen even at rest and increase while doing physical activity.

3. Dizziness

People experience sudden dizziness or light-headedness.

4. Cold Sweat

People who suffer from a heart attack will sweat profusely and have cold sweats.

Other common heart attack symptoms are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, restlessness, intense anxiety, or general wellbeing.

People often do not realize the symptoms of a heart attack until there is an emergency.

Also Read: Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water in the Morning and Side Effects

Symptoms of Stroke

Symptoms of a stroke can vary depending on the individual and the type of stroke that has occurred. However, some common symptoms of a stroke include:

  1. Feeling like you are having a seizure.
  2. Feeling like you are going to faint.
  3. Experiencing loss of vision or a sudden change in your vision.
  4. Difficulties speaking or understanding what people are saying.
  5. Sudden numbness or tingling in your body.
  6. Difficulty walking, swallowing, or breathing.

Risk Factors for Heart Attack and Stroke

Several risk factors contribute to heart attack and stroke, including the agents responsible for forming fatty deposits on the arteries.

The thinning of the passage of arteries decreases or slows the blood flow. You can work towards reducing the risk of heart attack and also fatty acid deposition; here is the list of factors that can contribute to the risk of heart attack

1. Age factor

Men older than 45 years of age and women older than 55 years of age are at risk of developing. People of this age should take all the precautionary measures to avoid a heart attack.

2. Tobacco

People who smoke or do passive smoking for a long time are more likely to develop a heart attack.

Smoking damages the lining of arteries which facilitates fatty acid deposition.

According to a study, smoking is the largest preventable risk factor for a heart attack and stroke in the United States

3. High Blood Pressure

Increases in blood pressure can be due to many reasons such as obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Increased blood pressure can damage arteries, which turn into deposition sites of fatty acid.

The deposited arteries become narrower, increasing the heart risk. Increased blood pressure during pregnancy can also contribute to blood pressure (pre-eclampsia).

4. High Blood Cholesterol

Cholesterol is of various types, such as triglycerides, low-density-lipoprotein (LDL), VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein), and HDL (high-density lipoprotein).

Triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein) are bad cholesterol deposited in the arteries.

The deposited fat increases the risk of a heart attack and stroke. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is good cholesterol, so food rich in cholesterol should be consumed.

5. Diabetes

The body becomes resistant to sugar, and sugar metabolism decreases either due to insulin insensitivity or reduced insulin production.

The increased blood sugar level can have detrimental effects on your body. The body should have a sufficient amount of insulin in the body to have control over diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can result in a heart attack.

6. Genetics

Candidates whose brothers, sisters, parents, or grandparents have had heart attacks at an early age (men 45 years and women 65 years) are more likely to develop a heart attack and stroke.

7. Obesity

Increased body weight is a contributing factor to a heart attack and stroke. Obesity can be due to diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Taking measures to reduce body weight, even a 10% weight loss, can help improve the overall health status.

8. Sedentary Lifestyle

Today’s modern life does not give enough time for workouts, and people often find it difficult to join the gym. This results in increased blood lipids and obesity.

Physical activity helps burn fats and keep sugar and weight in control. The three risk factors diabetes, cholesterol, and weight can be managed with exercise.

9. Stress and Depression

These are the contributing factors to a heart attack and stroke.

10. Drug use

Certain drugs, such as cocaine or amphetamines, can cause spasms of the coronary arteries and contribute to a heart attack and stroke.

11. Autoimmune Diseases

Certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and chronic kidney disease, can increase your risk of a heart attack and stroke.

Also Read: Natural Ways to Reduce Bad Cholesterol Within 4 Days

Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention

It is very much possible to prevent heart attack and stroke and reduce the risk.

1. Eat Well

A daily diet should be composed of fresh fruits and vegetables. The food should be rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fresh tuna or herring. People should reduce their salt, sugar, red meat, and fat intake.

2. Exercise

Make a schedule and do some physical activities such as yoga, walking, or jogging.

One can do meditation to reduce the stress level. It helps in relaxing and calming the mood and the body.

3. Stop Smoking

Stop the use of tobacco and related products. Stop smoking and also passive smoking.

You can seek professional advice to get rid of your nicotine habit. Smoking less than five cigarettes a day also has early signs of a heart attack.

4. Control Blood Pressure

Take tablets timely to control blood pressure, reduce salt intake, and exercise.

5. Control Blood Sugar

Diabetes can damage the arteries triggering the deposition of fatty substances. Check with your doctor and follow adequate measures to control sugar.

6. Control Cholesterol

The bad cholesterol (LDL, VLDL, and triglycerides) deposition may form plaque in the arteries resulting in blockage and preventing the flow of blood and, ultimately, heart attack and stroke.

Have control of your cholesterol; doctors may prescribe medicines for lowering cholesterol.

7. Sleep

An adult should sleep eight hours daily to relax and destress her body.

8. Weight

Exercise and diet can help you have healthy weight-reducing health issues.

9. Aspirin

Certain patients are given aspirin tablets as an anticoagulant to reduce the risk of a heart attack.

10. Social

Spend time with family and friends; this helps reduce stress and improves heart health.

11. Alcohol

Control intake of alcohol.

What to do If you have Symptoms of Heart Attack and Stroke

As soon as you experience symptoms of a heart attack and stroke, follow the below steps:

 Try to reach for medical help as soon as possible.

 Do not drive; ask someone to go for you or wait for an ambulance.

 Chew an aspirin if available.

 Open doors and windows and breathe fresh air.

 Stay calm, do not panic.

Every minute counts in an emergency situation; do your best to reach the nearest hospital.


  1. Cardiovascular risk factors for acute stroke
  2. Awareness of Heart Attack Symptoms and Response Among Adults 
  3. Knowledge of heart disease and stroke among cardiology inpatients and outpatients

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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