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Heart Disease Health Center

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Spot Heart Attack, Stroke, and Angina Symptoms

Stroke continued...

Some common symptoms of angina include:

  • Your chest hurts during physical activity, because your heart has to work harder to keep pumping.
  • You have chest pains often that last 5 minutes or less.
  • Your discomfort feels like bad indigestion.
  • The pain spreads from your chest out to your arms, back, or upper body.
  • You get relief from resting or from taking heart medicine like nitroglycerin.

If you're a woman, you may have other symptoms, like feeling out of breath, nausea or vomiting, and sharp pain in your stomach or chest. You can get angina when they have blockages in very small arteries. For men, the blockage is usually in your larger heart arteries.

Stress, smoking, extreme temperatures, and heavy meals can trigger the pain. It doesn’t cause damage to your ticker, but it's an early warning of heart disease, so get it checked out, Watson says.

Always err on the side of caution if you think you’re having a heart attack, stroke, or angina, Saxena says. “People tend to downplay these symptoms. These are serious issues, so talk to your doctor or go to the emergency room.”

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Reviewed on December 23, 2015

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