signs of a heart attack

Recognizing the Red Flags

According to the CDC, around 805,000 people in the United States experience a heart attack each year. Furthermore, about 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent, meaning the person isn’t aware of what their body went through. That’s why it is essential to understand the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, as well as your treatment options. To help, there's Vyndamax, a medication used to treat transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM). This article will detail the symptoms of a heart attack, treatment options and more.

Signs of a Heart Attack

  • Chest pain that may feel like pressure, tightness, pain, squeezing or aching.
  • Pain or discomfort that spreads to the shoulder, arm, back, neck, jaw, teeth or sometimes the upper belly.
  • Cold sweat.
  • Fatigue.
  • Heartburn or indigestion.
  • Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness.
  • Nausea.
  • Shortness of breath.
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Symptoms can vary between genders, with women more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is severely reduced or blocked. As a result, signs of a heart attack can vary. Some heart attacks strike suddenly, while others may have warning signs for hours, days or even weeks in advance. It’s important to understand how a heart attack feels and what symptoms it takes so that you can act fast. Common symptoms of a heart attack include:

A heart attack is a serious medical emergency where the heart muscle is starved of oxygen-rich blood, often due to a blockage in the coronary arteries.

Understanding Different Heart Conditions

Not every cardiac event is a heart attack. Indeed, there are a handful of different kinds of heart conditions, all of which affect the structure or function of your heart differently. Being able to distinguish these different heart conditions can help you to understand what is happening to you or a loved one:

Transthyretin-Mediated Amyloidosis (ATTR-CM)

This is a rare condition where abnormal protein deposits called amyloid build up in the heart tissue, making it hard for the heart to work properly.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

DVT is a clot that forms in a deep vein, usually in the legs. Clots can break loose, travel through the bloodstream and cause severe problems, like pulmonary embolism.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

This is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of heart attacks. It occurs when the coronary arteries are damaged or diseased, usually by a buildup of fatty deposits that can eventually block the arteries.

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)

AFib is an irregular and often very fast heart rate that can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

Heart Failure

Heart failure can develop after the heart becomes damaged or weakened. The two most common causes of heart failure are heart attack and high blood pressure.

Causes of a Heart Attack

While many different factors can contribute to a heart attack, there are few causes that are perhaps the most significant in increasing your risk of a cardiac event:

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension can damage the arteries over time, making them more susceptible to plaque buildup and blockages.

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol can contribute to the formation of plaque in the arteries, increasing your chance of a cardiac event.


Tobacco can damage the lining of the arteries, contributing to atherosclerosis and increasing the risk of heart attack.


Diabetes accelerates the process of atherosclerosis and increases the risk of heart attack due to damage to blood vessels.


Excess weight is associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, all of which increase the risk of heart attack.

Plaque Buildup

Coronary Artery Disease, or CAD, is the most common cause of heart attacks. It occurs when the coronary arteries become narrowed or blocked due to the excessive buildup of plaque. This process, known as atherosclerosis, restricts blood flow to the heart muscle.

Rupture of Plaque

Sometimes, the plaque in the artery can rupture, leading to the formation of a blood clot that can block the artery completely, causing a heart attack.

Vyndamax as Treatment Option

Vyndamax (tafamidis) is a medication used to treat a specific form of heart disease known as transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (ATTR-CM). ATTR-CM is a rare, progressive condition characterized by the buildup of abnormal proteins (amyloid) in the heart tissue, leading to heart failure. Vyndamax works by stabilizing the transthyretin protein, preventing it from breaking apart and forming amyloid deposits.