7 little known ways to recognize a heart attack.

Heart Disease is the #1 cause of death in women.

Heart attack symptoms in women are rarely the classic “clutch my chest and die” scenario that we see in movies.

While many women have chest pain or pressure that men commonly experience,  Harvard Health Publications article Gender Matters: Heart Disease Risk in Women states that women are more likely to experience “prodromal” symptoms- or symptoms that start out subtly but get worse over time.
Here’s a handy chart of common heart attack symptoms women can experience for weeks or days prior to and during a heart attack.
If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, seek immediate care and call 911.

Top heart attack symptoms in women
One month before a heart attack During a heart attack
Unusual fatigue (71%) Shortness of breath (58%)
Sleep disturbance (48%) Weakness (55%)
Shortness of breath (42%) Unusual fatigue (43%)
Indigestion (39%) Cold sweat (39%)
Anxiety (36%) Dizziness (39%)
Heart racing (27%) Nausea (36%)
Arms weak/heavy (25%) Arms weak/heavy (35%)
Source: Circulation 2003, Vol. 108, p. 2621.


February is Heart Health Month.



For more information:
Harvard Health- Gender Matters: Heart Disease Risk in Women
American Heart Association: Go Red for Women
Heart Sisters Blog 

*This Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.




    1. NurSerial

      Good feedback, Vic. The heart attack symptoms which women can experience are very subtle, and can be difficult to detect. I hope that this post serves to raise awareness of women’s experience of heart attacks. Thanks so much for your comment!


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