Frequent and intense bouts of ‘eructation’ could signal a future heart attack – case study

Often, people having a heart attack describe a feeling of chest pain before myocardial infarction. Other symptoms, however, may not sound related to the heart at all. In fact, medical researchers believe belching associated with chest pain or indigestion could precede a heart attack by months.

Chest pain or pressure that becomes recurrent has been widely recognised as an early sign of heart attack, warns the Mayo Clinic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains: “The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.”

During a heart attack, most people feel pain in the centre of the left side of the chest that lasts longer than a few minutes.

This pain isn’t just felt in the heart, however, but can produce effects throughout the whole body.

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People sometimes experience pain or discomfort in the:

  • Arms
  • Back
  • Neck
  • Jaw
  • Stomach.

People may describe their back pain from a heart attack as feeling like a rope being tied around them.

Sometimes, however, they experience mild discomfort comparable to indigestion.


In fact, indigestion is an early sign of heart attack for roughly 40 percent of women, often occurring in the month leading up to an event.

In the Austin Cardio and Cardiovascular Case Report, researchers describe the case of a 68-year-old male who noticed burping – or eructation – during exercise over a four to six-month period.

The intensity and frequency of his belching progressed in the month leading up to his angina diagnosis.

Angina is chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscles, according to the NHS.

READ MORE:Three symptoms appear a month before someone dies from a heart attack

This pain can present with the typical specific symptoms, which are easy to recognise or vague symptoms like chills, nausea, dizziness, belching and mild chest pain.

The report stated: “Belching associated with chest pain or indigestion is a recognised symptom of myocardial ischaemia or infarction in the emergency room literature.”

Evidence supporting these links comes mainly from questionnaire studies, however, with no randomised trials yet supporting the association.

The studies, however, suggest belching is a symptom of myocardial ischaemia or infarction (heart attack) in a “significant number of patients”.

According to Stoney Brook Medicine, gastric symptoms like a queasy stomach, vomiting or belching, could develop when the heart doesn’t receive enough blood.

In fact, many patients with angina report belching episodes as the chief and only complaint.

Although the condition itself is not usually harmful, it is often a forewarning that an individual is at risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

“With treatment and healthy lifestyle changes, it’s possible to control angina and reduce the risk of these more serious problems,” explains the NHS.

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