Heart Attack in Women
Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
The classic symptoms of heart attack include a feeling of extreme pressure on the chest and chest pain, including a squeezing or full sensation. This can be accompanied by pain in one or both arms, jaw, back, stomach, or neck. Other symptoms of heart attack include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, and a feeling of breaking out in a cold sweat. Although chest pain and pressure are the characteristic symptoms, women are somewhat more likely than men to experience heart attack that does not occur in this typical fashion. Instead, some women with heart attacks may experience more of the other symptoms, like lightheadedness, nausea, extreme fatigue, fainting, dizziness, or pressure in the upper back. Because of the absence of typical symptoms associated with heart attacks in men, many women who have heart attacks think the symptoms are due to another condition, like the flu or gastroesophageal reflux.
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American Heart Association. "Heart Attack Symptoms in Women." Apr. 17, 2014. <http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Heart-Attack-Symptoms-in-Women_UCM_436448_Article.jsp>.
Longo, Dan, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.
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