Did you know women experience different heart attack symptoms than men?
Keep your eyes open for the following signs, says Dr. Mitch Silver, a cardiologist. Women who have heart attacks frequently report these symptoms:
1. Shortness of breath (58 percent)
2. Weakness (55 percent) or unusual fatigue (43 percent)
5. Lower chest discomfort, upper abdominal pressure (similar to indigestion) or back pain
“Interestingly, most women do not have chest pain,” Silver says. “In a recent study which addressed early female heart attack symptoms, researchers found that 43 percent of the 515 women studied actually had no acute chest pain.”
In the same study, 78 percent of the women experienced at least one-pre-heart attack symptom for more than one month, either daily or several times per week. “About 71 percent of these women also experienced unusual fatigue and about 50 percent experienced sleep disturbance; many women (40 percent) rated both of these symptoms as severe,” Silver says.
Women likely experience different heart attack symptoms than men because they perceive pain differently – including a lower threshold for pain.
The more well-known symptoms of heart attack often appear in men, but may also occur in women: pressure, fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of the chest that may spread to the neck, shoulder or jaw.
Lisa Aurand is editor of Healthy New Albany Magazine. Feedback welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.