You might have heard over the past several years that there’s a sad lack of knowledge and attention to the fact that women’s heart attacks begin and progress differently from men’s. We’re all shown the “typical” shortness of breath, pain the left arm, and finally in the chest…but if you’re a woman who thinks that’s how it’s going to happen for you, well, it could be too late to save your life by the time you realize you’re in trouble.
It’s important for everyone to know what they’re looking for when it comes to heart attacks in women – this is one of those things where your much better off safe than sorry – so here’s what happened to one woman when her heart went on the fritz:
Researcher Matthais Meyer seconds all of this information, and encourages women to stay in touch with how they’re feeling.
“Women and men have a similar amount of pain during a heart attack, but the location may be different. People with pain in the chest and left arm are more likely to think it’s a heart attack, and these are usual symptoms for men. Women often have back, shoulder, or stomach pain.”
If you have any of these signs, call 911.
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- Women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Considering heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States, this is information we should all have and share – so pass it on.