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Health Line

ASK for a list of heart attack symptoms and chest pain usually comes out on top. But a new study
shows that a third of people who have heart attacks never have chest pain.

The lack of chest pain can have serious consequences, since people without chest pain were less likely to receive potentially lifesaving treatment for heart attack and were more than twice as likely to die in the hospital than people with chest pain.

The findings highlight the need for improved awareness among the public - and medical professionals - that heart attacks do not always cause chest pain, the study's lead author told Reuters. Chest pain is "an important symptom, but it's not the only symptom" of a heart attack, said Dr. John G. Canto, of the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Heart attacks can cause many other symptoms, including shortness of breath, intense sweats, abnormal heart rhythm and general weakness, he noted. Some people, including women, the elderly and nonwhites are at increased risk of having a heart attack without chest pain, so it is important for these groups to recognize the other signs of heart attack, according to Canto.

People who had a history of heart failure or stroke were at increased risk, as were the elderly, women and diabetics. Canto said that the risk was multiplied in people who fit into more than one risk group. Delayed and less thorough treatment appeared to have an effect on the odds of surviving.

As reported in Business Line News Service
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