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Women & Heart Disease

While most women are aware of their risk for breast cancer, many don’t realize a larger threat is beating inside their chests — heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of American women, killing more women than all cancers combined.

Woman smiles and makes a heart shape with her hands

Symptoms of Heart Attack in Women

Heart attack symptoms in women do not present the same as they do in men — and they aren’t always obvious. For example, not all women experience chest pain or discomfort. Sometimes, the only symptoms present are shortness of breath, nausea, shoulder pain, weakness and fatigue. Many women may just experience a cold sweat and dizziness.

However, some of the more “classic” symptoms can be experienced by both men and women:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
  • Discomfort or pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea
  • A feeling of indigestion

Women can also experience these symptoms:

  • Unusual chest pain, stomach or abdominal pain
  • Vomiting or dizziness
  • Unexplained anxiety, weakness or fatigue
  • Palpitations, cold sweat or paleness

These variations in symptoms are why heart attacks can be difficult to diagnose in women. If you think you may be having a heart attack, don’t dismiss your instincts. Seek prompt medical attention!

Dial, Don't Drive

If you are experiencing symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room Immediately.