Signs of a heart attack women need to know
If you're a woman, these symptoms may indicate you're having a cardiac event.
It's important for women to pay attention to their hearts. Heart disease is the number one killer among American women and many women often dismiss the early signs of heart attacks as stress, fatigue or just not feeling well. Some even have heart attacks without realizing it.
Research shows that women experiencing a cardiac event tend to wait longer than men to go to the emergency room. This may be the reason why heart attacks are twice as likely to kill a woman than a man. By delaying treatment, women put themselves in danger.
Unless a woman has crushing chest pain, she may not call her doctor or seek urgent medical attention — and the longer anyone goes without treatment after symptoms begin, the more damage there is to the heart. This can lead to serious conditions such as congestive heart failure and an increased risk of death.
Although women are getting the message that heart disease is as much a threat to their health as it is to men, many women still ignore heart attack symptoms. What makes it even more complex is that women may have different symptoms than men when having a heart attack and they may not have the telltale sign of crushing chest pain that often indicates they should get to a hospital.
These are some of the symptoms of heart attack women may experience:
Common symptoms of heart attack for men and women:
- Pain or pressure in the chest that may last more than a few minutes or diminish and return
- Pain or tightness that spreads to the back, neck, shoulder, jaw and arms
- Shortness of breath
Women may also experience:
- Heart palpitations
- Trouble sleeping
Call 911 if you experience any symptoms that may indicate you're having a heart attack. It's also important for you to understand your risk for heart disease and take steps to prevent it. Know your numbers — BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose — and follow a healthy lifestyle.