Recognising Female Heart Attack Symptoms

Updated at: Jan 19, 2013
Recognising Female Heart Attack Symptoms

Some common heart attack symptoms in women are shortness of breath, tiredness and unexplained fatigue.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Heart HealthWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Jan 19, 2013

Recognizing Female Heart Attack Symptoms

Chest pain or symptoms of heart attack are often considered as disease or illness of men. But heart attack and coronary artery disease have become common in women as well. Many women also get the characteristic symptoms of heart attack like:

  • Heaviness, pressure, fullness or squeezing pain in the center or left side of the chest, which may extend to the neck, shoulder or jaw;
  • Chest discomfort or heaviness with lightheadedness, dizziness, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath

But most women do not have the classical symptoms of heart attack. According to a study 43% of the women did not have "acute chest pain... a 'characteristic symptom in men.’ But according to the author many doctors still look mainly for chest pain and disregard other symptoms that women tend to develop. Hence many times doctors may miss heart attacks in women.

[Read: Symptoms of Heart Attack]

Some experts say that besides the doctors women should also recognize that they may not have chest tightness as a symptom of a heart attack.


The symptoms that women may have include:

  • Shortness of breath,
  • Unexplained fatigue or tiredness,
  • Pressure in the lower part of chest (this makes them think that the symptom is due to a stomach ailment.

[Read: Heart Attack Symptoms in Women]

Other symptoms that women can have include:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Upper abdominal pain or discomfort which may seem like indigestion
  • Back pain


Read more on Heart Attack



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