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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Chest pain


Many people who get chest pain are worried they might be having a heart attack, but most chest pain is not due to a serious cause. Because there are serious and treatable causes of chest pain, if you have it you should get advice as soon as possible.

If you currently have chest pain and you do not know what it is, do one of the following:

If you are younger than 40, the chance of your chest pain being serious is quite small if you are otherwise well. It is more likely that your pain is coming from your muscles and ribs, or caused by indigestion. No matter what your age, seek medical help if you have chest pain after exercise, or if you are also finding it hard to breathe, have sweating, feel sick, or have a rapid heart rate.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2017.

See also:

Acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion

Acute bronchitis


Collapsed lung



Pulmonary embolism

Page reference: 40988

Review key: HICHE-27916