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Are you at risk? Recognising the early signs of a heart attack

Heart and circulatory disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK and is the largest cause of premature mortality in deprived areas.

Heart attack symptoms and signs can vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are squeezing across the chest of a feeling of unease. But symptoms don’t always feel severe – lesser-known symptoms include a feeling of pressure or heaviness across your chest, shortness of breath, feeling or being sick and back or jaw pain without any chest pain.

That’s why the NHS is encouraging people to recognise the potential signs of a heart attack, so if you or somebody you’re with experience any symptoms, you can access help as quickly as possible. How to contact 999 by text relay, BSL interpreter and emergencysms.

BSL versions of the TV ad

Despite heart attacks more frequently affecting men, around 30,000 women are admitted to hospital following a heart attack each year in the UK. Women’s risk of a heart attack increases after the menopause, so it’s really important to take these symptoms seriously.

It’s never too early to call 999 and describe your symptoms.

If you think you or somebody you’re with is having a heart attack, don’t be tempted to wait to see what happens. The faster you seek medical assistance, the better your chances.

How to contact 999 by text relay, BSL interpreter and emergencysms

  • BSL (British Sign Language) users can make a BSL video relay call to 999 using the 999 BSL website or app. Visit

  • Text relay users can call 18000 to contact 999.

  • If you are a BSL user, deaf, have hearing loss or difficulties communicating you can text 999 by registering your phone in advance. Visit

For more information visit

Dr Chris George talks to the public about heart attacks

Full toolkit, posters, digital assets and formats including easy read, large print, audio, braille and BSL versions are available on the NHS Campaign Resources Centre (CRC) at:

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