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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Tightness in chest

 coyboy - Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:50 pm

My chest is pounding and my hands are numb and for about a week i have had pain in my left arm?
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Sat Aug 21, 2004 9:47 am

User avatar Dear Coyboy,

Determination of whether chest pain is of cardiac origin or not depends on risk factors that the patient has for coronary disease and the characteristics of the chest pain itself.

The risk factors for coronary disease are
1. Family history of coronary disease in young family members.
2. Age. Older people are more prone to heart attacks.
3. Being a male.
4. Hypertension.
5. Diabetes.
6. Smoking.
7. High choleterol.
8. Sedentary life style.

So, by looking at your profile, you don't have a family history of coronary disease, you don't have hypertension, diabetes, you are young. So, no risk factors there.

You are a male and you smoke.

You never mentioned anything about your cholesterol.

So, when we look at your risk factors, you have 2 risk factors, one that you can not change (being a male) and one that you can (smoking).

About the characteristics of your chest tightness. Pounding usually does not mean pain, usually it means that you can feel your heart beats (usually one can not feel his heart beats). You did not mention where exactly in your chest you feel this pounding/tightness. You mentioned that your hands are numb and that your left arm is hurting you. You have not mentioned how long the pounding lasts, when does this pounding come, what makes it worse, what it makes it go away, do you experience other symptoms with it? Your chest pounding seems atypical for coronary pain.

When someone with only 2 risk factors complains of atypical chest symptoms, then there is low probility that he/she has coronary disease.

Chest pain has many causes. Your chest pain might be related to neck problems as might indicate the symptoms of left arm pain and hand numbness.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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