Chest pain from the heart muscle because it doesn’t have adequate oxygen and nutrient-rich arterial blood flow, also called angina, is a common symptom of heart disease. Angina causes you to feel discomfort in your chest. Some people experience tightness or a squeezing sensation around their breastbone. The pain may radiate to the neck, down the shoulder and arms or upper abdomen, or into the upper back.
If you’re very tired or have difficulty catching your breath after minor exertion, you may have symptoms of heart disease. These symptoms typically ease with rest.
Women often experience different symptoms than men. For example, women may have:
- back pain
- jaw pain
- cold sweats
- shortness of breath
- fainting episodes
Women may not recognize the symptoms of heart disease. This is because their symptoms may also occur with other illnesses. Women also tend to have other risk factors, such as depression, stress, and menopause.
The symptoms of heart disease depend on the type of heart problem you have.
Atherosclerosis is a hardening and stiffening of blood vessels due to blood vessel injury from accumulation of fatty plaque deposits. The symptoms can include chest pain and shortness of breath in coronary artery atherosclerosis.
Additional symptoms include:
- unusual pain
- weakness in your arms and legs
These symptoms are due to a lack of arterial blood supply to the extremities.
Arrhythmias, also known as abnormal heart rhythms, have different symptoms. An arrhythmia may be accompanied by a heartbeat that’s too fast or too slow. It can make you feel like your heart has a flutter, a racing heartbeat, or an unusually slow pulse.
An arrhythmia also may cause:
- chest pain
- fainting spells