The heart attack symptoms can be different in women compared with men. Some signs of heart attack are as follows:
Chest pain & pressure
Chest pain may not be the hallmark symptom of a heart attack in women, but it certainly happens.
Shortness of breath
One study found that 42% of women having a heart attack had shortness of breath. Although men also have this symptom, women are more likely to have trouble breathing without concurrent chest pain.
Upper body pain
The Pain in the neck, jaw, back, arms (typically the left), teeth and shoulder blades is a frequent symptom of heart attack in women.
Nausea, vomiting and upset stomach
Women are twice as likely as men to experience nausea, vomiting, or indigestion-like symptoms, such as heartburn, while having a heart attack. This is often because the blood supply to the right coronary artery, which extends to the bottom of the heart, is blocked.
Fatigue and sleep problems
Many women about half experiencing a heart attack report fatigue that comes on suddenly and has no apparent cause. One study of 515 women who had had a heart attack found that 70.7% reported fatigue more than one month before the event. This study also found that about half had trouble sleeping. Any abrupt changes in sleep patterns could be a warning sign.
Life-threatening signs of a heart attack are flu-like symptoms that can also include tiredness. If you feel like you just cannot do what you can normally do in a given day, you should consider that it’s your heart.
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Feeling dizzy or light-headed is another almost unknown symptom of heart attack. One study found that 39% of women having a heart attack reported feeling this way as the attack progressed. Another study found that women were actually more likely than men not only to feel dizzy but even to faint. This is likely the result of a blockage in one of the blood vessels leading to the heart.
If you suddenly break out in a cold sweat, especially if you’re sure you’re not going through menopause. Fortunately, this may be one symptom that actually gets you to the hospital sooner rather than later. One study of about 1,000 patients found that those who experienced sweating, among other symptoms, were less likely to delay getting to the hospital.