With 659,000 deaths each year, heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. This alarming high statistic, working out to one in four deaths, means that cardiovascular disease is more common than you might think.

Certain factors will contribute to the risk of developing heart problems such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, and poor diet.

Heart problems can be fatal and can manifest in several ways, with some symptoms appearing less obvious than others. Learning more about the early warning signs could not only save your life, but the life of a loved one. In this article, we will take a look at the symptoms to look out for:

Chest Discomfort

A feeling of pressure, pain, or tightness in the chest can be one of the first warning signs of a heart attack; many people have described this sensation as an elephant sitting on their chest. The feeling can come in waves and usually lasts for more than a few minutes.


Feeling light-headed or dizzy is often the result of low blood sugar, lack of hydration, or simply standing up too fast. However, when it is coupled with chest pain or shortness of breath, it may indicate a drop in blood pressure due to a heart problem.

Nausea or Digestive Issues

Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, indigestion, or stomach pain can develop when parts of the body, including the heart, are not receiving enough blood. In addition to other symptoms, such as sweating, this can be a sign of coronary artery disease or a heart attack. Women are more likely to experience this type of symptom than men.


Persistent and unexplained exhaustion or fatigue can be a sign that the heart is not able to adequately pump blood around the body and may have a blocked artery or weak valve indicating a heart problem.


Unexplained or excessive sweating and breaking out into a cold sweat can be an early sign of a heart problem as the heart has to exert more effort to pump blood through clogged arteries. Combined with other symptoms, sweating can signal the onset of a heart attack.

Shortness of Breath

Take note of simple activities that have suddenly become difficult such as climbing the stairs, or mowing the lawn. If activities that require little exertion leave you gasping for breath it could indicate a heart problem.

Irregularities in Heart Rhythm

Changes in heartbeat or rhythm such as a racing heart or an irregular heartbeat could signify a heart problem. This could manifest as a feeling of either a skipped or extra heartbeat, a fluttering sensation in the heart, or an unusually fast or slow heartbeat.

When the heart is deprived of an adequate blood supply, it can cause heart palpitations and may feel similar to a feeling of panic or excessive caffeine consumption. If any of these symptoms occur without reason, last for more than a few seconds, and happen often, it could signal a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation or another heart-related problem.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately. Click here to learn more about the issues covered in this article.

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