What are the heart attack symptoms in women? The symptoms are often much subtler than those of men, and as such can be much harder to detect. That’s why it is so important to be aware of the potential signs and how they differ than those that men experience.
The Most Common Female Heart Attack Symptoms
- Loss of breath not necessarily accompanied by chest discomfort
- Feeling of unusual fatigue, body aches or weakness
- Nausea, vomitting, headaches, cold sweats and other flu-like symptoms
- Feeling of pain in the upper body – chest, shoulders, neck and back
- Feeling of unexplained anxiety or unease
How are heart attack symptoms in women different than in men?
The symptoms women experience can be different than those of men. As men typically experience the severe chest pain and pulsing through the arms when they are having an event (like you see when someone is having a heart attack on TV or in the movies), women’s symptoms are much less severe, and as such are often misdiagnosed as problems such as chronic fatigue or flu.
Also, most of the studies related to the heart have been performed on men, so many doctors are less familiar with the symptoms of heart attack in women. As such, treatment is often delayed in women that suffer heart attacks, resulting in increased damage that could have been avoided with proper diagnosis.
It’s interesting to note that women’s hearts as well as their arteries are smaller than men’s which can account for the differences in symptoms. Researchers also believe that the female heart beats faster and takes longer to relax between beats. Women are also more likely to die after their first heart attack than men are.
What should you do if you have the aforementioned signs of a heart attack?
If you experience any of these female heart attack symptoms, do not hesitate to seek medical attention. Call or have someone call 911 immediately and tell them you might be having a heart attack. You must get to the emergency room as soon as possible, as it could be a matter of life or death!
When you arrive, insist they test you for a heart attack….don’t fall victim to a misdiagnosis.
How can you lower your risk of having a heart attack?
Remarkably, in a recent study of 1000 women, only 8% of them considered heart disease to be their greatest health risk. Most believed it is breast cancer, yet only 1 in 27 women will die of breast cancer vs. almost 1 in 2 who will die of some form of cardiovascular disease.
Fortunately, you can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. The first step is recognizing the facts, which you can you do by reading the information on this site.
Next, you should incorporate the diet and exercise suggestions we discuss on this site, and make sure you include heart healthy nutrients to maintain heart strength and function.
Also, learn about the (4) blood indicators of potential heart disease: high cholesterol, triglycerides (fat), homocysteine and C reactive protein. Make sure you get a blood test that checks for all four of these markers, and learn how you can maintain your levels of these risk indicators.
All of these things will help reduce your cardiovascular risks. But if you do notice one or more of these heart attack symptoms in women, you need to seek medical attention right away…don’t wait!