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Heart Attack or Anxiety Attack?
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This forum is for questions and support regarding heart issues such as: Angina, Angioplasty, Arrhythmia, Bypass Surgery, Cardiomyopathy, Coronary Artery Disease, Defibrillator, Heart Attack, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Pacemaker, PAD, Stenosis, Stress Tests.

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Heart Attack or Anxiety Attack?

The day before yesterday I experienced pains that radiated across my breast from the center of my chest. I also experienced cold sweats, shortness of breath, and a rapid and pounding heart beat. I called my healthcare provider and they had me speak with a physician who told me that there was no way whatsoever that what I experienced could be a heart attack because I have no history of hypertension or high cholesterol, because I have no heart defects, and because I am only eighteen. This is not the first time that I have experienced chest pain, but it has always been a reaction to emotional or physical stress before now. I have undergone numerous cardiac tests and they have all returned normal, save for a mild thickening of the aortic valve and severe hypertension, which is now under control through the use of two different medications. I have already posted a similar thread, but I am posting here because I would like an expert opinion before I go in for an echo stress test this coming week. Please bear in mind that I am an eighteen year old male, I weigh 230 pounds, and I have hypertension. I also eat a diet that is laden with fat, sodium, and calories and have done so for years and years. I find myself thinking that this event was just a random and newfound anxiety attack, but I have a nagging fear that I experienced an MI. I have not experienced this set of symptoms since then. Thank you all for your time and for trying to help me.
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You describe several risk factors for coronary artery disease (impaired blood flow to the heart muscle due to blocked coronary blood vessels) and it would be prudent to proceed with a stress evaluation, as you have already scheduled. It is impossible to know whether your episode with cold sweats, shortness of breath etc was due to impaired blood supply to your heart  but the stress test will useful to check for this.
It will also be important to continue to work with your physician to ensure good blood pressure control, and weight management. If your stress test is negative (that is, does not suggest blocked coronary blood vessels), you may want to discuss with your physician about starting a regular aerobic exercise regimen.
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