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It would be that intense, sharp kind of pain that would hit you all at once, right? Well, maybe not, according to new research.
Among 3,306 patients who had checked into the emergency room with chest pain, the people with the most severe chest pain weren’t any more likely to be having a heart attack as those who felt less pain, reports a new study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
One reason for the finding could be that “pain” is subjective, says study author Anna Marie Chang, M.D.
There are many other instances that cause chest pain, which run from the relatively benign (like heartburn) to something very serious (like aortic dissection). But, as Chang points out: With all the possible health problems that can cause your chest to hurt, why risk it and stay home?
“If you have any concerns about whether your symptoms are the result of a heart attack, go to the emergency department right away,” Chang says. “That’s why we’re open 24-7. If you’re worried, we’re more than happy to take care of you.”
Here are a few other symptoms of a heart attack, other than a discomfort or pain in your chest:
And see a doctor right away if you have chest pain that becomes worse with exercise, sudden shortness of breath and sweating, and pain that radiates down your left arm or up into the jaw.