A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, occurs when blood supply is cut off to the heart muscle. This can be caused by a blood clot in an artery, an arterial spasm, trauma or other events. Heart attacks are uncommon in young men, but they can occur. Young men who experience a heart attack may be unable to summon help for themselves, making it important for everyone to know the symptoms of heart attack and seek care immediately. Young adults are also at high risk to deny they are having a heart attack, either because they think nothing bad can happen to them or they do not realize young people can have a heart attack.
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The most common sign of heart attack in a 22-year-old male is chest pain. Often, this pain is described as "crushing." It can radiate from the chest area to the neck, jaw or either arm. Any type of chest pain can indicate a heart attack, and all chest pain must be investigated.
A young man experiencing a heart attack may be suddenly unresponsive. This can happen during a sporting event, but it may also occur during work, school, rest or sleep. The man may or may not have a pulse.
Another sign of heart attack in a young man is limpness. With this symptom, he may be able to speak weakly, but his body is limp and he may be unable to stand.
Unusual Skin Color
The young man's skin color may look slightly blue. Alternatively, he may seem very pale with a cold sweat.
Nausea and vomiting are also signs of a heart attack. Other stomach upset can also occur and be mistaken for indigestion.
The young man may complain that he is having difficulty breathing. He may be breathing hard and unable to catch his breath. Anxiety might accompany this symptom and the heart attack victim might not be unable to sit or lie still.
Cleveland Clinic states that someone suffering a heart attack might complain that he feels dizzy or light-headed. He may try to walk but have to hold on to something to stand.
The young man may notice that his heartbeat is fast, pounding in his chest, or irregular. Alternatively, his heart rate can be slow.
Pain in Other Areas
The American Heart Association notes that pain from a heart attack can be experienced in the arms, stomach, back, jaw or neck. This can occur with or without chest pain.