Acute coronary syndrome symptoms are the same as those of a heart attack. And if acute coronary syndrome isn't treated quickly, a heart attack will occur. It's important to take acute coronary syndrome symptoms very seriously as this is a life-threatening condition. Call 911 or your local emergency number right away if you have these signs and symptoms and think you're having a heart attack:
- Chest pain (angina) that feels like burning, pressure or tightness
- Pain elsewhere in the body, such as the left upper arm or jaw (referred pain)
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Sudden, heavy sweating (diaphoresis)
If you're having a heart attack, the signs and symptoms may vary depending on your sex, age and whether you have an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes.
Some additional heart attack symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Pain similar to heartburn
- Clammy skin
- Lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting
- Unusual or unexplained fatigue
- Feeling restless or apprehensive
When to see a doctor
If you're having chest pain and you believe it's an emergency situation, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Whenever possible, get emergency medical assistance rather than driving yourself to the hospital. You could be having a heart attack.
If you have recurring chest pain, talk to your doctor. It could be a form of angina, and your doctor can help you choose the best treatment. Stable angina occurs predictably. For example, if you jog, you may experience chest pain that goes away when you rest. In unstable angina, chest pain isn't predictable and often occurs at rest. It may also be more intense pain than stable angina.
May. 07, 2013
- Acute coronary syndromes. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/cardiovascular_disorders/coronary_artery_disease/acute_coronary_syndromes_acs.html. Accessed April 2, 2013.
- Acute coronary syndromes. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/AboutHeartAttacks/Acute-Coronary-Syndrome_UCM_428752_Article.jsp. Accessed April 2, 2013.
- Diagnosis and treatment of chest pain and acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Bloomington, Minn.: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. https://www.icsi.org/_asset/ydv4b3/ACS-Interactive1112b.pdf. Accessed March 27, 2013.
- What is angina? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/angina/printall-index.html. Accessed April 2, 2013.
- Ryan TJ, et al. Initial evaluation and management of suspected acute coronary syndrome in the emergency department. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 1, 2013.
- What do my cholesterol levels mean? American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/CholesterolToolsResources/Downloadable-Documents-for-Cholesterol_UCM_305648_Article.jsp. Accessed April 1, 2013.
- What is coronary heart disease? National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cad/printall-index.html. Accessed April 2, 2013.
- Alcoholic beverages and cardiovascular disease. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Alcoholic-Beverages-and-Cardiovascular-Disease_UCM_305864_Article.jsp. Accessed March 22, 2013.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 22, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.