6 Common Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

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Key Takeaway

  • A heart attack occurs when there is an inadequate supply of oxygenated blood to a portion of the heart muscle, causing the heart to malfunction.
  • Common signs of heart attack can vary widely from person to person.
  • Other heart attack warning signs include chest pain and irregular heart rate.
  • Increased cholesterol levels and blood pressure can put one at higher risk of suffering a heart attack.
  • If you experience difficulty breathing without any clear cause, you may be having a heart attack.
  • If you have a heart condition, have regular check-ups with your doctor and follow your treatment plan.


A heart attack is a medical condition caused by a disruption in the blood flow to the heart muscle. A blood clot can form around the plaque and block the artery.

Despite the fact that heart disease is often thought of as a men's health problem, it is actually the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.

Heart attacks can have different symptoms in women than in men, so women need to know what to look for. This infographic shows the 6 most common heart attack symptoms in women:

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women


What are the common symptoms of a heart attack in women?

Also read
7 Things You Should Do for a Healthy Heart

Pain in arms

Pain in the arms is more common in women and may be confusing for those who expect their pain to be focused on their chest. The pain in the arm can be gradual or sudden and may wax and wane before becoming intense. You should report any atypical symptoms in any part of your body to your doctor or health care provider.


Shortness of breath

If you struggle to breathe and there seems to be no apparent reason, you might have a heart attack. This is especially true if you also show one or more other symptoms.


Extreme fatigue

Many people report feeling unusually tired in the weeks leading up to a heart attack. However, fatigue is also a common symptom just before the event occurs. If you are doing simple activities that do not require much effort and feel fatigued or exhausted.


Jaw pain and neck pain

This heart attack symptom is usually non-specific and cannot be attributed to muscles or joints in the upper body. Areas that can be affected include the neck, jaw, upper back, or arm. The pain in the upper body can start in one area and gradually spread to other areas. It may also come on suddenly.


Nausea or vomiting

Some women have these symptoms during a heart attack, where you may feel sick to your stomach or vomit. Women are more likely to report this symptom than men.


Stomach discomfort

Sometimes people mistake stomach pain or discomfort that signals a heart attack with more benign conditions like heartburn, the flu, or a stomach ulcer. Other times, women may experience severe abdominal pressure that feels like an elephant on their stomach.


Other heart attack warning signs include:

  • Chest pain (Uncomfortable pressure)
  • Cold sweats
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat (heart rate)

A heart attack's symptoms and warning signs can vary widely from person to person. For example, you may experience subtle symptoms, while someone else may have excruciating pain. Men are also more likely to experience chest pain than women. If you have any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical help immediately by calling 911.

Sometimes, the first sign of a heart attack is sudden cardiac arrest. Risk factors, such as high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attack in both males and females. So it would be best to discuss with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your heart health conditions and preferences for medical care to help reduce your risk of heart disease.

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