Chest pain is a common symptom of a heart attack, but most chest pain isn’t due to a heart attack or related to heart disease.
In the United States, chest pain is the second most common complaint for emergency room visits—totaling almost 6 million visits to the ER every year.
What Causes Chest Pain Beyond Heart Problems?
There are many health conditions that can cause chest pain:
- Acid reflux (heart burn)
- Pulled muscle or cartilage
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs)
- Inflammation in the ribs (costochondritis)
- And many other diseases
Treatment of chest pain depends on the cause and should be decided after a diagnosis is made.
What Makes a Heart Problem More Likely?
The most important indicator of life-threatening chest pain is your personal and family health history.
Patients with diabetes, a history of hypertension (high blood pressure), tobacco abusers, high cholesterol, and family history of heart disease have a GREATER RISK of a heart attack and need to seek immediate help when experiencing chest pain.
Can Chest Pain Lead to Death?
Yes. A few diagnoses are big concerns and should be treated immediately to help prevent death.
When chest pain is due to:
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clot)
- Heart attack
- Aortic aneurysm
Seek help and treatment IMMEDIATELY if those conditions are even suspected.