Common heart attack symptoms may be characterized by crushing chest or arm pain but simple dizziness or shoulder and back pain can be early warning signs that you must now call for medical help.

Heart week has started this week and The Heart Foundation has send warnings to Tasmanians where half of there population die of heart attack, the country's no. 1 killer.

But what is more alarming is that people die of heart attack before they even get to hospital due to non awareness of the symptoms that signals the disease.

Of patients who die from heart attack, half die before they get to hospital, said Graeme Lynch, CEO of Heart Foundation Tasmania.

Our research shows that many patients delay calling an ambulance because they are afraid of being embarrassed if it turns out they are not having a heart attack.

But fortunately for us the ambulance service is free and people can call an ambulance if they think they're experiencing any of the warning signs of heart attack.

A new research showed that 55 percent of Australians don't know what to do when they suspect a heart attack and only one in five will make a hospital call if they felt dizzy or has feelings of discomfort since they are embarrassed if it turns out that they are not having a heart attack.

Mr. Lynch said that no one ever die of embarrassment, but many people die since they do not attend to heart symptoms quickly.

What we encourage people to do is that if they have those symptoms and they persevere for longer than five to ten minutes that they should immediately dial triple-0.

If it turns out to be a false alarm, that is the best thing that could happen, he said.