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Cardiovascular Health

What are the Signs And symptoms of myocardial infarction?


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May 01, 2014 3:36AM

The classic symptoms of myocardial infarction (MI), also called a heart attack, are:

* chest pain or pressure (usually in the center of the chest) that may radiate to the neck, jaw or one or both arms/shoulders. This may occur with exertion or at rest

* shortness of breath * diaphoresis, or generalized sweating * nausea and vomiting * palpitations * weakness * anxiety, or a sense of impending doom or death * lightheadedness or loss of consciousness Unfortunately, there is a moderately high percentage of patients whose initial presentation of MI is sudden death. There are also groups of people who do not always have the "classic" symptoms of MI. This group includes the elderly, women, those with diabetes, and many minorities. In fact, about the only group that presents with classic symptoms are young, otherwise healthy white men... how's that for counter-intuitive?

Findings that make a physician suspicious of MI, include a compelling history in a patient with appropriate risk factors. These include age (typically over 50), hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, history of diabetes, smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and family history of MI - particularly if the MI occurred early (< 55 in males, < 60 in females). Specific physical exam findings are usually absent, but may include moist skin from diaphoresis, pallor, anxiety, rapid breathing, sounds of fluid in the lungs, altered heart sounds and rapid or slow heart rate. EKG findings may show changes indicative of MI, and lab tests will show evidence of myocardial damage.
Severe chest pain which is not relieved by sub-lingual isosrbide mononitrate. Fear of death and severe perspiration are the symptoms of myocardial infarction.