Signs of Heart Attack in Women

Heart AttackMost people know the classic symptoms of a heart attack: chest pressure, pain in the chest, jaw and/or arm and shortness of breath. The problem is that they “typical” heart attack symptoms most are familiar with are from years of research on what men experience during a heart attack. It has been found that women have very different signs and symptoms, which probably accounts for why women have a higher risk of dying from a heart attack than men do. So, what has been determined to be the symptoms women experience during a heart attack?

Chest Pain?

Women can experience chest pain, but women should also be conscious of less obvious symptoms such as nausea, indigestion and heart palpitations. Those can be experienced along with shortness of breath and back pain. In one study, almost half of the women who participated had no chest pain at all during their heart attack.

Uncommon Symptoms

One of the biggest indicators for women is extreme fatigue. Suddenly feeling like the smallest task takes a lot out of you is red flag and needs to be evaluated by a doctor, especially if combined with another symptom like shortness of breath. Shortness of breath is experienced by over half of all women who have had a heart attack. It is a very early warning sign of a heart attack.

Men tend to experience pain in their chest, shoulder, jaw and arm. Women can feel that too, but often also have pain in their back, neck or ear as well. A feeling of pressure on the sternum and upper back can also be a sign. Dizziness, nausea and vomiting are also more likely to be experienced by women, along with indigestion. Suddenly breaking out into a sweat with dizziness should be of serious concern and medical help needs to be sought out right away.

Feeling suddenly anxious or stressed out can be a warning sign of a heart attack in women as well. Anxiety is reported before a heart attack by over 30% of women.

If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, get medical help immediately. One of the key factors of surviving a heart attack is to get help fast and as early as possible. Knowing what to look for will help you or someone you love to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and get help.

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Kate Mereand-Sinha

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