When it comes to heart attack symptoms, women are more likely to have “nonclassic” heart attack symptoms than men. Still, healthcare providers note, unexplained jaw, shoulder, back, or arm pain can also signal a man’s heart attack even when the classic crushing chest pain is absent.
The AHA mentions that these are the most common warning signals for heart attack in women:
- Pain or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
- Chest discomfort that lasts a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath, tiredness, or upset stomach. These are particularly common in women.
- Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
Of course, everyone is different so what one woman experiences may not be true for another especially if you have ANY concerns about new, unusual or extreme symptoms that could be precursors to a coronary event. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of seeking treatment as soon as possible so don’t hesitate to get medical assistance – you know your body better than anyone and if something doesn’t feel right, don’t wait to check it out.
Women often delay going to the emergency room for a variety of reasons, e.g. too busy with work, school, carpool and more, but heart attacks can happen to anyone. The staff and doctors at Hill Country Memorial know that heart attack cases don’t have a certain “look” and people who appear to be healthy can just as easily fall victim to cardiac disease. Just remember that we are always here to provide the expertise and compassion for every healthcare need!
Think you know your risk of coronary disease? Take our quick assessment to learn more.