Women May Experience Different Heart Attack Symptoms Than Men
We are taught to be aware of the major signs of a heart attack—such as extreme chest pain—but it turns out that symptoms of a heart can vary, even by your biological sex. Although women and men can both showcase the classic signs of a heart attack, a woman's symptoms of this serious condition can be much more subtle.
Although it is important to look out for the classic signs of a heart attack—chest pain, pain radiating down one arm, nausea, and vomiting—women should be aware of the less obvious signs that something is wrong.
Chest pain is a common symptom of a heart attack in women, but the pain is often less severe than the chest pain men experience. Usually, chest pain is accompanied by other symptoms in women, such as fatigue, nausea, and shortness of breath. Women may have pain in their back, neck, and shoulders as well.
A couple key factors may point to why women experience heart attacks differently than their male counterparts. Heart disease usually affects the smaller cardiac vessels in women, with fewer tight blockages occurring in women with heart disease. This may result in the variation of heart attack symptoms women experience, but it requires further research.
All women should be aware of the risk factors for heart disease and if they face a greater chance of experiencing a heart attack. High blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, inactive lifestyle, and a poor diet can all contribute to a woman's chance of developing heart disease.
These factors may impact a woman's chances of a heart attack more so than a man, so it is important to evaluate your risk and speak with a doctor about any possible lifestyle changes. Taking control of your health is the first step to heart attack prevention!