Heart attack or myocardial infarction is a medical emergency that has become one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. One person dies every 40 seconds due to myocardial infarction. Several causes contribute to the onset of a heart attack, making it one of the most common health conditions in the country. In this blog, let’s focus on the heart attack symptoms in men. 

It’s scary to learn that men are more prone to heart attacks than women. 1 in 4 male deaths is due to heart attack. So, it is very important to be aware of heart attacks and their symptoms. 

People with diabetes must be extra cautious because they are more prone to experiencing heart attacks and strokes. Reading about diabetes and stroke can help you understand why diabetics must follow a healthy lifestyle.

First, let’s look at the conditions that cause heart attacks in men.

Causes of Heart Attacks in Men

From heredity to lifestyle, heart attacks are caused by various factors and often cannot be narrowed down to a single factor. The most common causes of heart attacks in men are:

  • High cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • A lifestyle that lacks any physical activity (lethargic lifestyle)
  • Unhealthy diet 
  • Heredity
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking

25 Heart Attack Symptoms in Men

People generally have the idea that the symptoms of heart attacks are the same for males and females. Some of the major symptoms are indeed common among men and women. However, several other symptoms are particularly seen in men. 

Women experience a wide range of symptoms while the list is a bit shorter for men. Heart attack symptoms in men include the following.

1. Chest Pain or Discomfort

Chest Pain or Discomfort

This is the most commonly experienced symptom of heart attacks in men. Starting with mild pain or discomfort in the chest region, the pain can either subside or intensify. Some men might feel a squeezing sensation in the chest. Chest pain is often the onset factor for a heart attack, so it should not be taken lightly.

“Hollywood Heart Attack” is a term used for severe chest pain. Men should visit a doctor at the earliest if they experience chest pain. 

2. Chest Pressure

Chest Pressure

It is important to understand that chest pain and chest pressure are different. Chest pressure is when a person experiences squeezing, tightening, or pressure in the chest area. The pressure can be felt with or without pain. The intensity and duration of the pressure vary in men.

3. Pain in Other Parts of the Body

Pain in Other Parts of the Body

Heart attack symptoms in men can also be noticed through the pain occurring in body parts like the shoulders, back, arms (one or both), jaw, neck, or stomach. Little to no blood supply to these parts can trigger such symptoms in men.

4. Shortness of Breath

Shortness of Breath

Feeling breathless or having difficulty breathing is one of the commonly found heart attack symptoms. This may occur with or without chest discomfort.

5. Nausea or Vomiting


Some men may experience nausea, vomiting, indigestion, or abdominal pain during a heart attack.

6. Cold Sweat

Washing Face After Sweating

Breaking into a cold sweat can also be a symptom. People usually sweat during exercise or because of a high room temperature. However, if men start sweating profusely without any of these reasons, it might indicate the onset of a heart attack. 

7. Dizziness or Lightheadedness


Feeling faint or dizzy is another one of the heart attack symptoms in men. Other heart ailments or a condition known as vertigo can also cause dizziness. So, if you suddenly feel faint or giddy, you must contact your doctor immediately. 

Talking about dizziness, get to know why you feel dizzy after workout.

8. Fatigue


Sometimes, men might feel tired or devoid of energy without any rhyme or reason. If men feel unusually tired, either suddenly or persistently, it could be a symptom of a heart attack. 

9. Nervousness or Anxiety 


Feeling unusually anxious or experiencing a sense of impending doom might be a symptom of a heart attack.

10. Palpitations


A rapid, fluttering, or pounding sensation of the heart could also be one of the heart attack symptoms in men. At times, you may experience such palpitations due to other underlying conditions too. So, it would be wise to figure out what causes these palpitations as quickly as possible.

11. Weakness


Feeling weak, especially in the arms or legs, can also be a symptom among men. If the blood supply to the arms or legs is not proper, it can lead to weakness in those areas.

12. Coughing or Wheezing


Some men may cough or wheeze persistently, which might indicate a heart attack. The coughing or wheezing might worsen if they lie down.

13. Swelling in Specific Areas

Swelling in the Feet

At times, fluid buildup could be a sign of heart disease or failure. Fluid buildup can cause swelling in the ankles, feet, or abdomen. Excess fluid in the body can also result in belly bloating, nausea, or fatigue.

14. Symptoms Resembling Indigestion/Heartburn

Symptoms Resembling Indigestion

In certain cases, the symptoms of heart attack might resemble those of indigestion or heartburn. It is crucial that people differentiate between the two.

15. Back Pain

Back Pain

Pain in the back might be a sign of a heart attack. It can more commonly be sensed in the upper back, especially between a person’s shoulder blades. Also, read about the 10 biggest back pain mistakes.

16. Jaw Pain

Jaw Pain

Several health conditions can cause jaw pain in men. However, it is one of the usual heart attack symptoms in men. But a heart attack will not directly result in jaw pain. Instead, the cardiac pain can, sometimes, radiate to a man’s jaws.

17. Throat Pain

Throat Pain

During a heart attack, some men might feel discomfort, pain, tightness, or a choking sensation in the throat. 

18. Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Pain

An ache or discomfort in the shoulders is a pretty common symptom of a heart attack in men. Pain in the shoulder, especially the left one, is something to be cautious about.

19. Pain in the Arms

Pain in the Arms

In some cases of heart attacks among men, the pain from the chest can radiate to one or both arms. 

20. Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Abnormal Heart Rhythms

An irregular heartbeat, commonly called “arrhythmia,” is one of the symptoms of heart attacks. In this condition, the heart may beat too fast or too slow. To put it in a nutshell, the rhythm of the heartbeat is affected. 

21. Feeling of Fullness

Feeling of Fullness

Some men feel a sense of fullness in the chest/abdomen. It can even be a feeling of heaviness in the chest area. 

22. Clammy Skin

Clammy Hands

Clammy skin means sweaty skin that’s cool to the touch. If a man’s skin is cool or clammy, it could be a symptom of a heart condition/heart attack. 

23. Trouble Sleeping

Trouble Sleeping

A feeling of uneasiness or anxiety can prevent people from falling or staying asleep. People with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) usually experience these symptoms. However, having trouble sleeping could also be a sign of a heart attack in men. 

During your leisure time, read about the healthy sleeping tips from Harvard Medical School!

24. Loss of Appetite or Change in Eating Habits

Loss of Appetite

Either before or during a heart attack, some men experience a loss of appetite. In many cases, a change in normal eating habits has been found to be associated with a heart attack. 

25. Unexplained Weakness or Fatigue

Unexplained Weakness 

Feeling unusually weak, tired, or fatigued, even after getting enough rest, is one of the heart attack symptoms in men. 

How Does Stress Increase the Risk of Heart Attack?

Whenever a person is stressed, the hormone called cortisol is released. High levels of cortisol can lead to an increase in blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure, which is directly linked to heart diseases and attacks. If an individual is under long-term stress, the amount of cortisol secreted over time will be high. This can result in increased risks of heart attacks. This is how stress increases the risks of heart attack. 

Knowing the heart attack symptoms in men can help you identify the signs easily and get help quickly. 

Exercises for Heart Attack Patients

Exercises for Heart Attack Patients

Working out is essential to lead a healthy, happy life. For patients with heart conditions, exercise is crucial because regular exercise helps strengthen the heart muscles. It also assists in managing stress, blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol levels. If you perform aerobic activities, such as walking, swimming, and cycling, your heart and lung capacities will increase. However, you must consult with your doctor/healthcare provider before you start any exercise program. In case you have a heart condition or disease, or have already suffered an attack, it’s mandatory that you get your doctor’s advice prior to starting any exercise. The physical activities you do must increase blood flow to your heart, but they must not cause any strain on it.

Heart Attack Prevention

A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise can help prevent heart attacks. Smoking and consuming alcohol must be avoided. Obesity, stress, and a lethargic lifestyle are other factors that can lead to heart attacks in the long run. People having diabetes must be extra cautious because increased blood sugar levels have a direct impact on heart health. Maintaining a healthy weight, overcoming stress with techniques like meditation, and being physically active will go a long way in heart attack prevention. Ensure you get your heart checked by your doctor at frequent intervals (like once in 6 months or a year, as per the doctor’s instructions). Keep telling yourself every day that “Prevention is better than cure!”

Know more about heart attack prevention by reading about it!

What Are the Silent Signs of a Heart Attack?

Hope you’ve paid close attention to all the heart attack symptoms in men. Do you know that 1 in 5 heart attacks in the US is a silent one?

A silent heart attack occurs when the condition shows no symptoms in the person’s body, making the onset of the attack go unrecognized. The signs of a silent heart attack are subtle, so they must be observed closely. Some of the signs are slight chest pain or discomfort, lightheadedness, or pain in the arms, neck, shoulder, or back.

Some people who have experienced heart attacks have stated that they had back pain where they felt as if a rope was tightened around them!

Pay Close Attention to the Signs and Symptoms!

While heart attacks are often associated with old men, there are alarmingly increasing cases of heart attacks among young men too. The number of men experiencing heart attacks is frightening and most of them are under 40! A sedentary lifestyle makes us more prone to several heart diseases. Therefore, precautionary measures should be taken effectively by men of all age groups to prevent heart attacks. Never hesitate to visit a doctor if you experience any of the heart attack symptoms in men mentioned in this blog.

Consulting a Doctor

If you suffer from a heart condition or have an attack despite all the precautions, you must have the right type of treatment immediately. If you think you are at risk of a heart attack, it’s advisable to consult a doctor before taking any treatment.