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Heart attack symptoms in women

Barb Lambeth, Research Director



Barbara Lambeth, RN, is the research director at Banner Baywood Medical Center and Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, AZ.

Question: Are heart attack symptoms different for women?

Answer: Yes, heart attack symptoms can be different for women. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of American women — despite race or ethnicity.  Heart disease kills one of every three American women.

The symptoms for women having a heart attack can be very different than those of a man, but the following are common symptoms in both men and women:

  • pressure
  • tightness or squeezing chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
  • pain spreading to shoulder, arm or neck
  • heartburn
  • dizziness or loss of consciousness

There are several symptoms of a heart attack that are more likely in women:

  • unexplained weakness or fatigue
  • indigestion or gas-like pain
  • pain between the shoulder blades
  • recurring chest discomfort

It’s best to be evaluated by a cardiologist if you have any questions about your heart health.

Page Last Modified: 09/03/2015
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