Women's Health Matters

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Ask an expert: chest pain

I sometimes feel pain in my chest – should I be worried about a heart attack?

woman with chest pain

If you’re experiencing chest pain, it’s important that you remain calm and don’t panic. Chest pain can be caused by a variety of issues, but it can also be very serious, so don’t ignore symptoms. Any new, unexplained or persisting chest discomfort at rest and/or with exertion should be examined by a health-care provider.

Chest pain or discomfort can be your body’s way of telling you your heart isn’t getting enough blood and is a symptom of a heart attack. Other symptoms include tightness, squeezing or burning in your chest; upper body discomfort in neck, jaw, arms, back and/or stomach; dizziness, nausea and/or vomiting; shortness of breath, fatigue and/or sweating

If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms or your chest pain persists, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department. It’s also important to talk to your health-care provider about your individual risk factors for heart disease to understand the state of your health.

THE EXPERT Faith Delos-Reyes, registered kinesiologist and program coordinator at the Women's Cardiovascular Health Initiative, Women’s College Hospital

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  • A publication of:
  • Women's College Hospital