Although a heart attack may occur any time, the probability and frequency is more during the early morning hours. This could be due to increased tone and tendency towards thrombosis (or clot) in the morning. Most people who suffer a heart attack have a history of preceding physical and mental stress.

There are certain typical symptoms of heart attack. They may be present alone or in combination.

  • Pain – Some characteristic features:
    • Commonly occurs in the central part of the chest or upper part of the abdomen. It may be compared to anginal pain. Only, it is more severe and lasts longer.
    • Pain may also be felt (radiation) in the left arm, neck, lower jaw or back.
    • It is often described as a feeling of heaviness, squeezing or a crushing sort of sensation.
    • Unlike anginal pain, it does not subside with rest and antianginal medications such as nitroglycerine.
    • Pain may be absent especially, in elderly and diabetics (known as painless infarction).
  • Breathlessness – Difficulty in breathing could be a prominent symptom especially in elderly patients.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Sudden fainting and confusion
  • Weakness and apprehension