Women may have the “crushing” chest pain often described when having a heart attack, but often they do not have the same chest pain symptoms as a man.
Instead, some women may call their doctor or go to the Emergency department with a vague pain in their chest or upper back. “It’s not really a pain,” they sometimes say, although some women do experience pressure or heaviness in the chest.
Some women experience nausea, sometimes associated with other symptoms, while others experience sudden breathing difficulties while doing simple tasks.
We have even seen women who suddenly experience extreme weakness or fatigue while having a heart attack.
Other symptoms include:
- Discomfort in the chest, commonly mistaken as heartburn
- Pain in the back, shoulders, arms, neck, throat or jaw
- Irregular heart beats
The best advice for women is to go to the nearest Emergency department if you experience any of these symptoms suddenly. The problem may not be with your heart, but you will have the reassurance that your symptoms are not life-threatening.
When you need help identifying the signs of a heart attack, phone our award-winning Chest Pain and Stroke Hotline at 1-800-575-1911 to speak with a Western Baptist registered nurse. It’s free and available 24/7.
Read one woman’s experience with a heart attack.