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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: 22 year old with severe upper chest pain

 trinity024 - Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:02 pm

Hello I am a 22 year old female that has a heart murmor and a family history with my mother father and grandfather with heart problems. Three times this week I have had chest pain in my upper chest that is nothing like the asthma chest pain I have. At times I can hardly breath and it goes from my chest to my back then to my arms and legs . I don't have any idea what it could be. I just know when it happenes it scares me and I don't know what to do. I am only 22 but my family say that I could have an heart attack. I don't believe that . Can you really have an heart attack that young??????????????????????????????
 Dr. A. Madia - Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:48 am

User avatar Hi Trinity,

Heart attack is a clinical manifestation of a process called atherosclerosis in which the inner lining of the blood vessels get fat deposition followed by caicium and they become a plaque. Gradually this plaque increases in size and obstructs the lumen of the vessel causing angina, and when it clogs the vessel totally, it is a heart attack.

This process of atherosclerosis takes many years to progress and usually symptoms of angina or heart attack are not seen in young individulas like you. Moreover females are especially spared of this predicament until menopause because estrogen hormone in them seems to impart protection from atherosclerosis.

Over and above, the description of the pain you give also is not characteristic of a heart pain. So rest assured, you are not having a heart attack. This should relieve you of much of the anxiety and that in inself will go a long way to subside your symptoms.


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