LOCAL business owner Mark Brown admits he never saw his heart attack coming.
Eight years on, however, the 64-year-old is fighting fit but wants others to realise the signs of a heart attack before it's too late.
This week marks the Heart Foundation's annual Heart Week awareness campaign.
In 2006 Mr Brown noticed he was frequently short-breathed, felt like he had the flu and experienced pain in his teeth.
``It's very important to be in contact with your cardiologist,'' he said.
``I was out of breath a bit more than normal. I was sweating and just thought I was getting a bit of a cold.
``In hindsight, I should have gone to the doctor.
``I've never been overweight and I've never smoked. I consider myself very active. I'm not a couch potato and I work long hours. So it was probably stress.''
Launceston General Hospital cardiologist Brian Herman said heart attack symptoms were often hard to recognise.
``There are certain symptoms that are very non-specific, but there are certain symptoms that make the light bulb go off in my head as a cardiologist,'' he said.
``One of those symptoms is a man in his 50s who tells me he's getting more short of breath walking up hills.
``And now his teeth and his jaws hurt - that is a huge red flag.''
While symptoms can creep up on patients, Dr Herman said it was important to understand whether you were at risk of a heart attack.
``When the light flickers in your house, you don't realise the roof is going to cave in, because why should you?'' he said.
``Cardiac symptoms are sometimes very obvious and sometimes very subtle.
``Patients are most likely men in their 50s and women in their 60s who are beginning to develop progressive symptoms that weren't there before.''