Panic Attack or Heart Attack? Here’s How to Tell the Difference

A heart attack and a panic attack share many similar symptoms, so it’s crucial to determine which one it is, experts say.

Chest pain, racing heart, shortness of breath and sweating can occur with both, but only a heart attack can be fatal, according to a team at Penn State Health.

A heart attack occurs when a blockage in an artery restricts blood flow to the heart muscle. Symptoms continue until a person gets emergency medical treatment. In a panic attack, symptoms may last 20 minutes and then go away.

However, only a health professional can confirm a heart attack or a panic attack, so any of the common symptoms should be taken seriously, the experts said.