Diseases & Conditions

Spot the warning signs of 4 dangerous conditions

Don’t overlook symptoms of a stroke, heart attack, atrial fibrillation, or pulmonary embolism.

By , Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

cropped photo showing a man holding his chest while experiencing pain

We rarely think life-threatening conditions, like a heart attack, can happen to us. And we tend to miss signs that such conditions are brewing. "You think, ‘I’m too young’ or ‘too healthy’ for it to be true, and you can ignore important symptoms," says Dr. Emily Lau, a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

Protect yourself by learning the warning signs of the following conditions, and taking action if you recognize them.

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About the Author

photo of Heidi Godman

Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

Heidi Godman is the executive editor of the Harvard Health Letter. Before coming to the Health Letter, she was an award-winning television news anchor and medical reporter for 25 years. Heidi was named a journalism fellow … See Full Bio
View all posts by Heidi Godman

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No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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