Sweat is good indicator heart attack may be coming

November 22, 2005

Sweating during physical activity or in hot weather is healthy. But when individuals begin perspiring while experiencing discomfort in their chest, arm, neck or jaw -- with little or no exertion -- it could be the onset of a heart attack, according to a new study at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"We can stop a heart attack during the process, but you have to get to the hospital first," said Catherine Ryan, research assistant professor of medical surgical nursing. "The real push for improved survival is to get them there early."

Ryan presented her findings at the American Heart Association's annual meeting this week in Dallas.

Time is of the essence during a heart attack, and doctors have urged people who experience common symptoms -- shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea, lightheadedness, or discomfort in the chest, arm, neck or jaw -- to get to a hospital as quickly as possible. But delay in seeking treatment is common, and worsens the outcome after a heart attack, Ryan said.

Ryan sought to determine whether delay was related to the symptom cluster individuals experienced during a heart attack. Earlier studies about the delay, she said, focused on only one symptom, not clusters, or on demographic characteristics of the patients.

She asked the authors of 10 such studies to send her their data, and eight groups of authors in the United States and Great Britain complied. The data had been collected in interviews with 1,073 patients who had had heart attacks.

Ryan studied 12 common symptoms: chest discomfort; shoulder, arm, or hand discomfort; neck or jaw discomfort; back discomfort; abdominal discomfort; indigestion; nausea and vomiting; shortness of breath; sweating; dizziness and light-headedness; weakness; and fatigue.

Her analysis showed that individuals with the shortest delays (a mean of 9.78 hours) had a greater probability of experiencing the largest number of symptoms. Individuals with the longest delays (a mean of 22.77 hours) had moderate probability of experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath.

Sweating may be a key variable in the symptom cluster prompting individuals to seek treatment, Ryan said. But the research could not determine whether sweating is an indication of a more serious heart attack.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health through UIC's Center for Reducing Risks in Vulnerable Populations.
-end-


University of Illinois at Chicago

Related Heart Attack Articles from Brightsurf:

Top Science Tip Sheet on heart failure, heart muscle cells, heart attack and atrial fibrillation results
Newly discovered pathway may have potential for treating heart failure - New research model helps predict heart muscle cells' impact on heart function after injury - New mass spectrometry approach generates libraries of glycans in human heart tissue - Understanding heart damage after heart attack and treatment may provide clues for prevention - Understanding atrial fibrillation's effects on heart cells may help find treatments - New research may lead to therapy for heart failure caused by ICI cancer medication

Molecular imaging identifies link between heart and kidney inflammation after heart attack
Whole body positron emission tomography (PET) has, for the first time, illustrated the existence of inter-organ communication between the heart and kidneys via the immune system following acute myocardial infarction.

Muscle protein abundant in the heart plays key role in blood clotting during heart attack
A prevalent heart protein known as cardiac myosin, which is released into the body when a person suffers a heart attack, can cause blood to thicken or clot--worsening damage to heart tissue, a new study shows.

New target identified for repairing the heart after heart attack
An immune cell is shown for the first time to be involved in creating the scar that repairs the heart after damage.

Heart cells respond to heart attack and increase the chance of survival
The heart of humans and mice does not completely recover after a heart attack.

A simple method to improve heart-attack repair using stem cell-derived heart muscle cells
The heart cannot regenerate muscle after a heart attack, and this can lead to lethal heart failure.

Mount Sinai discovers placental stem cells that can regenerate heart after heart attack
Study identifies new stem cell type that can significantly improve cardiac function.

Fixing a broken heart: Exploring new ways to heal damage after a heart attack
The days immediately following a heart attack are critical for survivors' longevity and long-term healing of tissue.

Heart patch could limit muscle damage in heart attack aftermath
Guided by computer simulations, an international team of researchers has developed an adhesive patch that can provide support for damaged heart tissue, potentially reducing the stretching of heart muscle that's common after a heart attack.

How the heart sends an SOS signal to bone marrow cells after a heart attack
Exosomes are key to the SOS signal that the heart muscle sends out after a heart attack.

Read More: Heart Attack News and Heart Attack Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.