Is the pain consistent or paroxysmal? Is it related to physical exercise? Will deep breath worsen it? A few life-threatening conditions that cause chest pain: ischemic heart disease, pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax, and aortic dissection. Pneumothorax is the most possible one in young people. Other possible diseases: pneumonia, ribitis, shingles, intercostal neuritis, pleurisy, esophagitis, hiatal hernia, and esophageal. You should have a chest X-ray at least.