What are the signs and symptoms of a heart attack in women?

People believe that heart attacks can only occur in men and not in women. But it is not true. Even though heart attacks are more common in men than women, the cause of death for many women is a heart attack!
Women struggle in their lives at work, and they have to manage their families. Women also tend to be more emotional and worried; all this somewhere or the other affects their heart.

But is there no gender difference in heart attacks? Are the signs and symptoms of a heart attack the same for both men and women?
In case you are looking for answers to these questions, you are at the right place!
Here, we will quench your thirst regarding the difference in signs and symptoms between a man and a woman.

Signs and Symptoms of a heart attack in women-

Symptoms of heart attack are generally not the same in males and females. 
Women’s symptoms are more obscure and silent for them to notice.

  • Stomach aches-

Many women face abdominal pains and stomach-related problems before a heart attack. There is pressure on their stomach as if something heavy is up there. 
Females also have problems with indigestion and nausea before a heart attack. 
But women often ignore these symptoms, thinking it like a typical stomach infection or ulcer.

  • Chest pain-

Pain in the chest or discomfort is the most common symptom of a heart attack. However, women also have this symptom before a heart attack. This chest pain stays for a while, goes, but it returns. People feel discomfort, as if their chest is squeezing. They also have a feeling of fullness, and it makes them uncomfortable and uneasy.

  • Shortness of breath-

It can be a heart attack symptom if you have a problem with breathing or have shorter breaths as if you have worked out even though you did nothing.

  • Problems in Sleeping-

Most women have sleeping problems about a week before the heart attack occurs. Either they cannot sleep or feel a lack of sleep even after getting enough sleep. Also, women tend to get up in the middle of their sleep during this time.

  • Weakness and Fatigue-

Feeling weak, fainting, and dizzy is typical of a heart attack. You can feel tired without exerting much pressure or working hard. You will feel shaky or as if you are falling, even after doing the smallest amount of work.

  • Pain in the upper region of the body-

This pain can occur in areas in your upper body like the hands, jaw, neck, shoulders, or upper back. This type of pain before a heart attack is more prevalent in women than men. So one might feel that it is a normal pain. But you should not ignore it if it is severe and keeps coming and going.

  • Sweating-

Unnecessary sweating and coldness can also be harmful. Sweating is normal till a certain amount, but if you sweat excessively, it can be problematic and a sign of heart attack.

What’s the difference between a heart attack in men and a heart attack in women?

Chest pain and discomfort in the chest are common symptoms of a heart attack in both men and women.
But unlike women, men do not have nausea, fatigue, cold sweats, or dizziness as common symptoms.
But all these symptoms mainly occur in women before a heart attack.
Also, the signs and symptoms in women are slower to recognize than the symptoms of a heart attack in men. As a result, doctors and researchers believe that women have lesser chances than men of surviving their first heart attack. In addition, diseases like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) increase the risk in women.

These were the signs and symptoms that women face before a heart attack. If you or your knowns are going through any of these symptoms, especially if there is more than one, you should not ignore them at any cost. Visit a doctor now and get medical help before it becomes risky!

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors