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  • Sponsored Q&A

    Chest pain - when should you worry?

    Dr Louise Carey is a specialist Cardiologist practicing in Brisbane. She sub-specializes in Echocardiography. She is a member of the Queensland Cardiovascular Group.

    Dr Louise Carey discusses Chest Pain - When should you be worried?, with Ed Phillips on Talking Lifestyle.
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    • Dr Louise Carey
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  • Dr Louise Carey is a Director of the Queensland Cardiovascular Group and a Member of the Wesley Medical Research (formerly St Andrew’s Medical Insitute). She ... View Profile



    What type of pain is typically associated with a heart attack?

    The textbook description is a central band like chest pain or heaviness (like an elephant sitting on your chest).

     

    Can you experience heart pain elsewhere in your body?

    The pattern for each person is quite variable. Some people will have chest pain that radiates to the left arm, the jaw or between the shoulder blades. Some people get no chest pain and only feel discomfort in these other areas.

     

    I have heard you can have a heart attack with no pain, is this true?

    Yes about 20% of people will experience no pain with a heart attack, they may experience breathlessness, dizziness, palpitations or nausea or rarely no symptoms at all. Diabetics are more likely not to experience chest pain.

     

    What are some other causes of chest pain other than the heart?

    Gastrointestinal pain like reflux or peptic ulcer, gall stones, musculoskeletal pain involving the ribcage, lung pain from pneumonia, pleurisy or lung blood clots.

     

    How can I check if my heart is the cause of my chest pain?

    The most accurate noninvasive tests if you are having symptoms are an exercise stress echocardiogram or a CT coronary angiogram.

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