The warning signs and symptoms of heart disease

February 27, 2024 

OCONTO FALLS, Wis. – One common myth about heart disease is that it only affects older adults, particularly men. In fact, heart disease can affect people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. While it is true that the risk of heart disease increases with age, it frequently occurs in women, and younger individuals can also develop heart disease.

Heart disease encompasses a range of conditions that affect the heart and/or blood vessels, including coronary artery disease, heart failure and arrhythmias. It’s important to know that heart disease may not show any symptoms until a significant event, such as a heart attack, occurs. It’s also just as important to know that there are warning signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of heart disease.

The warning signs of heart disease can vary depending on the specific condition, but some of the symptoms include: 

Chest discomfort or pain:

If you feel pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center or left side of your chest, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately by calling 911. These symptoms can last for a few minutes or come and go and can also radiate to the arms, neck, jaw, shoulders or back. 

Shortness of breath:

Difficulty breathing, especially when accompanied by chest discomfort, may be a sign of heart disease or another medical condition. It’s important that you consult with your primary care provider to discuss the symptoms you are experiencing. 

Chronic fatigue:

Unexplained fatigue, weakness or a feeling of being unusually tired, even with minimal physical activity, can be a symptom of a heart condition. 

Excessive sweating:

Unexplained or excessive sweating, especially breaking out in a cold sweat, can be a warning sign of a heart problem. 

Dizziness or fainting:

Feeling lightheaded, dizzy or fainting may be associated with heart issues, especially if it occurs with other symptoms associated with heart disease. 

Irregular heartbeat:

Heart palpitations, a rapid or irregular heartbeat or a fluttering feeling in the chest can be signs of arrhythmia. 

Swelling in the legs, ankles or feet:

Fluid retention oftentimes occurs as a result of heart failure, leading to swelling in feet, ankles and legs. Sudden or unexplained weight gain could be a sign of fluid retention due to heart failure.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s important to seek prompt medical attention. Regular check-ups, especially if you have risk factors such as tobacco use, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or a family history of heart disease, can help in the early detection of and management of heart disease. Your primary care provider can assess your situation and refer you to a cardiologist if necessary.

Appointments can be scheduled with a Prevea primary care provider in Gillett, Lena, Mountain, Oconto, Oconto Falls, Suring online at or by calling (920) 846-8187.

If you are currently seeking treatment with a cardiologist and would like a second opinion, Prevea offers cardiology appointments in Oconto and Oconto Falls.



About Prevea Health 
Prevea Health is a community of passionate and accomplished physicians, caregivers and staff working together to provide exceptional health care. Patients have trusted Prevea with their medical care needs since 1996 when the organization was founded in Green Bay, Wis. Today, Prevea provides primary care and a wide range of specialty medical care in clinic, hospital, and workplace settings across Northeast Wisconsin. It is partnered with Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) which operates hospitals in Wisconsin. For more information about Prevea Health, visit

About HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital serves Oconto Falls and the surrounding communities as a federally designated critical access hospital with a 24-hour emergency department; inpatient and outpatient surgical and diagnostic services; cancer care; therapy and rehabilitation; wound care; the Almost Home Swing Bed program; and more. It was founded as Oconto Falls City Hospital in 1921 and became HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in 2014 when it joined Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS). As an affiliate of HSHS, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital draws on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as it serves the health care needs of the region in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital also has five rural health center locations in affiliation with Prevea Health in Gillett, Lena, Mountain, Oconto Falls and Suring; and operates HSHS Pharmacies in Gillett and Oconto Falls, and HSHS Prescription Services (remote dispensing sites) in Lena, Mountain and Pulaski. In 2022, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital was named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the U.S. by The Chartis Center for Rural Health. For more information, please visit:
The warning signs and symptoms of heart disease
Media Contact

Angela Deja

Director, Public Relations and Communications