Alaska Regional Medical Center Emergency bay

Women’s symptoms of heart disease can be different and often more subtle than men’s. They frequently continue activities when they feel ill, not realizing that what they’re experiencing may represent a heart condition.

It’s important to note the gender differences in risk factors and symptoms and to remember that just because a symptom is subtle, that does not mean it’s not serious.

Here are some common warning signs of heart attack in women:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain that spreads to the jaw, shoulder, neck, or arms.
  • Chest discomfort with light-headedness, fainting, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath.
  • Deep back pain right between a women’s shoulder blades

Here are some warning signs that are less common, yet just as serious:

  • Unusual chest, stomach, or abdominal pain.
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and dizziness.
  • Unexplained anxiety, weakness, or fatigue.
  • Heart palpitations, cold sweat, or paleness.

If you are having any of the above symptoms, call 911.