At 34 years old, how concerned should I be about chest pain that goes into my arm?

A fellow caregiver asked...

I've been experiencing pain in the chest area, sometimes going down my left arm, it comes on very sudden, lasts for about 2-3 seconds, should I be concerned? I'm 34 years old, I've put off going to the ER because it doesn't last long.

Expert Answer

James Frank is Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at the V.A. Medical Center in San Francisco.

It's important for you to see a doctor immediately. The symptoms you're describing sound like classic angina, resulting from coronary artery disease. It could be something else, but you need to be evaluated by a doctor right away to assess your risk factors and be tested for heart disease. You are young, but 34-year-olds can have coronary artery disease. Best of luck to you.