Early Signs of Heart Attacks in Women - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Early Signs of Heart Attacks in Women

Symptoms of an impending heart attack for women aren't always as predictable as the heart attack symptoms experienced by men. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), less than 33% of women studied reported having chest pain or discomfort prior to a heart attack, and nearly 50% of the women studied indicated that they experienced no chest pain during an actual heart attack.

Heart attacks are the number-one killer of both women and men - so, knowing the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack are paramount to getting quick intervention and treatment - which greatly enhances you and your loved ones' chances of survival and recovery. Women often experience new or different physical symptoms than the classic symptoms of a heart attack, as long as a month or more before experiencing a heart attack.

Women's heart attack symptoms can include:

  •  Unusual fatigue
  •  Sleep disturbance
  •  Shortness of breath
  •  Indigestion
  •  Anxiety
  •  Chest discomfort

Heart attacks don't always begin with sudden,
debilitating pain. Many start slowly as mild pain or
discomfort. Major symptoms women experience
during an actual heart attack can include:

  •  Shortness of breath
  •  Weakness or discomfort in the chest or in other
  • upper body areas such as in the arms (including one or both arms), the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  •  Unusual fatigue
  •  Breaking out into a cold sweat
  •  Nausea
  •  Dizziness

Despite these findings, many doctors still consider chest pain as the most important and telling symptom of a heart attack in both women and men. However, more than two-thirds of the women having heart attacks didn't experience chest pain, so it's important to be aware of other symptoms.

It's increasingly evident that a woman's symptoms aren't as predictable as a man's. Women should discuss their risk for a heart attack and any unusual symptoms with their doctor.

Don't miss the early signs of a heart attack. For more information on women and heart disease, talk to your health care professional; or visit your hospital's website or www.americanheart.org or www.nih.gov.

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