Chest Pain
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What Are Its Effects?

The symptoms of the various kinds of heart disease depend on the seriousness of the problem.

Silent Ischemia refers to a form of heart disease with mild or unnoticeable symptoms.

Angina Pectoris is a sensation of tightness or pressure in the chest area that is experienced during periods of physical exertion or emotional stress. The pain may cease when the exertion stops or the distress is relieved. If it does not, then it should be seen as an indication of more serious heart disease and the increased risk of heart attack. The pain of a heart attack lasts longer than that of Angina, though it may be less severe. It is often described as a "crushing" pain in the center of the chest. The pain may also spread to the neck, shoulders, or arms and be associated with perspiration, a feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness, and shortness of breath.

Chest pain that persists for more than a few minutes or that recurs frequently should be taken seriously as a potential sign of a heart attack.

In all, a heart attack may last for hours, during which the heart sustains progressive damage. However, only about 10-15% of patients who enter hospitals in the U.S. complaining of chest pain turn out to have a form of heart disease.