What Makes Women’s Heart Attacks Different?

When you think of a heart attack, odds are you imagine chest pain and someone clutching at their chest. But that isn’t always what a heart attack is like. In fact, women are less likely to survive heart attacks than men because many women aren’t aware that their symptoms are very different.


Women may right off their heart attack symptoms as indigestion or a possible stomach bug, which can keep them from seeking out emergency medical services. It’s important that you understand the subtle symptoms of a heart attack and that you get medical treatment when you think you’re having one.


What are the symptoms of a heart attack?


Women often experience different heart attack symptoms than men. But that knowledge isn’t widely known because research on heart attacks and heart disease has largely been conducted on men.


That said, some of the most common symptoms of a heart attack include:



    • Back pain


    • Jaw pain


    • Shortness of breath


    • Unusual fatigue or weakness


    • Nausea and vomiting


    • Indigestion when you haven’t eaten anything recently



It’s important that you don’t write these symptoms off if you’re over the age of 55, have a family history of heart disease, have high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. Many women will go to sleep thinking they’ll feel better in the morning when really they need to seek emergency medical care.


What can I do to combat my risk of heart disease?


Most heart attacks can be prevented if you take control of your lifestyle. If you have a family history of heart disease, have your cholesterol and blood pressure regularly tested.


It’s also recommended to exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week or one hour a day, three days a week. Diets that are high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, fish, and non-fat dairy products can also help to keep you heart-healthy.


Where can I find emergency medical care when I need it?


The leading cause of death for women in the U.S. is heart disease. In fact, up to 64% of women who die from coronary heart disease don’t experience any symptoms. It’s important to pay close attention to your health and that you seek out emergency medical care when you think you need it.


Carolina East Medical provides emergency medical care including heart services, emergency surgery services, and female health services. To learn more about our emergency medical care or minor emergency services, contact us today.


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