How Signs of Heart Attacks Differ in Women


Heart disease is not just a problem for men. In fact, it does not discriminate. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer, according to the American Heart Association. It is essential to know how heart attack symptoms differ in women.

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

Women often misunderstand their heart attack symptoms because they sometimes differ from men. As with men, the most common heart attack symptom in women is chest pain or discomfort, but women are more likely to experience the other common symptoms.

Those symptoms include:

  • Discomfort in your chest, commonly mistaken as heartburn
  • Pain in the back, shoulders, arms, neck, throat or jaw
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than cancer. Click to Tweet

Heart Attack Causes

Heart attacks occur when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked by a buildup of plaque in coronary arteries or the plaque rupture causing a clot to form. Women often misdiagnose the symptoms because they don’t think it could happen to them.

Risk factors for heart disease include:

  • Smoking
  • Family history
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes

There are ways you can control your risk for heart disease. First, get active. At least 30 minutes of activity each day can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Other ways you can improve your health include eating healthier food, especially a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, along with high fiber intake.  Sugar and saturated fat intake should be limited.  Good blood pressure and cholesterol control, along with quitting smoking are also crucial.

Learn more about the Heart Care services that Baptist Health offers all across Kentucky and southern Indiana.