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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  November 12, 2003
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Signs Of A Heart Attack
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Miriam Hospital

Madeline Marcantonio has a young daughter, she's active and she never thought she'd be a heart attack survivor at age 45.  "I'd look in the mirror and say you just had a heart attack and you just don't believe it happened to you."

Despite an extensive family history of heart problems, Madeline never thought the day she developed pain in her right arm would be because of a heart attack.  "I was like this will blow over. I'm just getting nervous, never thinking it was my heart.  I talked to two doctors that week and not one of them picked up on it."

Madeline is not alone. Women, especially, can experience symptoms that are harder to detect. Miriam Hospital's chief cardiologist Ken Korr says many times heart attacks are anything but typical.  "People have always heard the classic description of a heart attack is terrible, crushing chest pain but most people don't feel that."

In fact, other, less obvious symptoms include:  

  • pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms.
  • jaw pain or toothache.
  • lightheadedness, nausea, sweating or shortness of breath.
  • For women symptoms may be: 

    • cold, sweaty skin
    • unexplained anxiety or nervousness
    • weakness or overwhelming fatigue
    • swelling in the lower legs or ankles

    Of course these symptoms aren't always associated with a heart attack but, in some cases, it's best to be overly cautious. Dr. Korr says,  "I think people who have increased cardiovascular risk factors, who are over the age of 40, that present with symptoms that seem unusual to them, should be evaluated medically."

    Madeline's situation was all too familiar.  Her father died at the age of 45 from a heart attack.  "I want to be around for a long, long time. I want to see my daughter get married. I want to babysit my grandchildren and I'm really going to stay on top of things now."

    For more information:

    Miriam Hospital

    Am I Having A Heart Attack?


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