Every year about 1.5 million Americans have heart attacks and for about 500,000 of them, that is the end of the road. If that half a million had known how to read the signs, many of them would have taken the right turn and would be around today.

Myocardial infarction, heart attacks, don’t generally happen like they do in the movies where the guy grabs his chest and falls to the floor and dies. In most cases there are warning signs that, if paid attention to, can provide the time needed to get help, or take aspirin, or alka seltzer (which contains aspirin and works faster according to an article I read today).

Warning signs
vary between men and women in some cases, so spending a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the feelings that shouldn’t be just blown off, is a few minutes well spent.

In general, a heart attack will produce some or all of the following symptoms,
* Uncomfortable chest pain, pressure or a squeezing sensation in the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes
* Pain that radiates to the shoulders, neck, jaw or arms
* Chest pain accompanied by dizziness, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath

There is what is called a silent heart attack. It is more common in women and can have symptoms such as nausea, pain in the upper abdomen, or a heart burn type of feeling. While I’m not suspecting that a person should run off to the ER every time they are nauseous, popping an aspirin if you have one of those symptoms that just seems out of context sure can’t hurt. And if it comes back, maybe seeing a doctor would be a good idea.

Bottom line. Without going overboard, if something doesn’t feel right, there’s a chance it’s because something isn’t right. Out of the 1.5 million people, there are a million that can probably still find their way to affordable life insurance. That number could be higher if we knew how to read the signs.