Heart Attack in Women: 7 Warning Signs and Symptoms You Must Watch Out For

Did you know that women are less likely than men to survive their first heart attack? This could be due to the fact that the symptoms differ between the sexes. Women are more prone than men to suffer from a “silent” heart attack or experience misleading symptoms.

Heart attack in woman is a "silent killer"
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Many people believe that a heart attack will strike out of nowhere and leave them unconscious. But according to a study, signs of a heart attack might manifest themselves in women for several weeks before the event.

Heart attack symptoms in women may be constant or may come and go. They may also cause sleep disruption.

Here are 7 symptoms of heart attack women should watch out for:

1. Chest pain

This is the most common symptom of a heart attack in both males and females. It can be described as tightness, pressure, squeezing, or aching in the chest. Women, on the other hand, can suffer from a heart attack without experiencing any chest discomfort.

In the 2003 study, 29.7 percent of the women who took part reported experiencing chest discomfort in the weeks leading up to the incident.

2. Unusual fatigue or extreme weakness

Most women report unusual fatigue weeks before they experience a heart attack. They described the feeling of exhaustion even while doing simple activities. The weakness they feel may be accompanied by anxiety,  dizziness, fainting, and feeling lightheaded.

3. Shortness of breath

Anxiety, fatigue, and chest pain may indicate heart problems. Some women may also feel out of breath when lying down, but not when sitting up.

4. Excessive Sweating

Another common heart attack symptom in women is excessive sweating without a known cause. Cold and clammy sensations might potentially indicate heart troubles.

5. Upper body pain

This is usually non-specific and cannot be linked to a specific upper body muscle or joint. Commonly affected areas are the upper back or arm. The pain usually starts at an area until it spreads gradually.

6. Difficulty in Sleeping

In a 2003 study, nearly half of the women said they had trouble sleeping in the weeks leading to a heart attack. These discomforts could include having trouble sleeping, unusual waking up in the middle of the night, and feeling exhausted despite having enough sleep.

7. Stomach problems

Before a heart attack, some women may experience discomfort or pressure in the stomach. Indigestion, nausea, and vomiting are digestive symptoms commonly associated with a heart attack.

The British Heart Foundation advises women, especially those over age 40, to have regular checkups with their doctor. Risk factors such as family history, lifestyles choices, medical conditions need to be assessed to reduce the risk of a cardiac arrest. Always remember that in heart attacks, the signs may be subtle but the consequences can be deadly.

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