Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for men and women in the U.S. — but sometimes the symptoms of heart attack are not the same for both sexes.
For both men and women, the most common symptom of a heart attack is chest pain. However, women may experience a heart attack without chest discomfort or pressure. Symptoms of a heart attack, for both men and women, include:
- Chest pain, discomfort, or pressure
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or one or both arms
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Cold sweats
“Women may also experience extreme fatigue or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen,” says Luis Bowen, MD, interventional cardiologist on the medical staff at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. “It’s not uncommon for women to write off their symptoms as things like acid reflux or the flu.”
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends calling 911 as soon as you experience heart attack signs, even if you are unsure. Fast action is required for a heart attack, and minutes can save lives.