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The REAL symptoms of a heart attack

August 04, 2008 20:05 IST

People seeking heart attack advice from TV and films are putting their lives at risk, warns a British charity.

The British Heart Foundation says that TV and films often show heart attacks with actors suddenly collapsing, and clutching their chests in agony. However, the real heart attack symptoms are completely different, the foundation adds.

According to the foundation, the signs can be more subtle, and nearly 20 per cent are ignorant of the actual symptoms.

"We need to get the message out that heart attacks on the screen aren't what people experience," the Mirror newspaper quoted director of policy Betty McBride as saying.

The heart attack symptoms include chest pain or pain spreading to the arms, neck and jaw.  The patient also feels sick or sweaty, out of breath, light-headed, and dizzy.

People with symptoms wait on average 90 minutes before calling emergency services, and if treated four to six hours later, are twice as likely to die as those seen within two hours.