Answers to Common Aortic Stenosis Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about aortic stenosis.

Can the symptoms of aortic stenosis be confused with symptoms of heart attack?

Premier Health’s Dr. George Broderick explains the similarities and differences between symptoms of aortic stenosis (AS) and heart attack. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.


According to, symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Chest pain
  • Chest discomfort
  • Upper body discomfort (usually in one or both arms, back, neck and/or jaw)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Changes in heart rhythm
  • Heartburn, nausea and/or vomiting
  • Cold sweats
  • Dizziness

Of these symptoms, chest pain and shortness of breath are also experienced by people with aortic stenosis. However, chest pain associated with a heart attack is often described as an uncomfortable pressure, heaviness or fullness and typically comes on quickly, without warning. As Dr. Broderick points out, chest pain associated with aortic stenosis may feel different, like a tightness, and is most commonly experienced after activity, like walking up a hill or stairs, carrying a heavy bag, etc.

Of course, if you are unsure about what your chest pain may indicate, it is always better to call your doctor or seek emergency care. If a heart attack is the cause of your chest pain, minimizing the time that your heart is deprived of blood can save your life and minimize long-term damage.

Talk to your doctor about any chest pain you experience to find out if it is a symptom of aortic stenosis.

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Source: George Broderick, Jr., MD, FACC, The Premier Heart Associates

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