Know the Warning Signs: Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

The following blog post highlights important heart health information, as part of Southern Surgical Arts’ commitment to promoting awareness for Heart Month. You can read our previous heart health posts here and here.

You may know that heart disease is the #1 killer of women as well as men, but did you know that heart attack symptoms in women are not always the same as in men? Many do not.

Tragically, this can lead to unnecessary loss of life in women who assume they are experiencing anything other than the signs of an impending heart attack. Women are likely to feel chest pain as men do, however, they are somewhat more likely to feel this in conjunction with other symptoms that are not as commonly recognized.

Keep reading to learn more about recognizing the symptoms of heart attacks in women.

According to the American Heart Association, the following are the most common signs of a heart attack, specifically in women:

A sensation of pressure, squeezing, or pain in the center of your chest. This sensation can continue for several minutes, and may go away and return.
With men, one of the classic signs is pain down the left arm. However, women may experience pain down both arms, the back, the jaw, and the stomach, or may experience pain in a combination of these areas.
Shortness of breath, even in the absence of chest pain, is another common symptom. Shortness of breath is generally a good reason to get in contact with your doctor.
Nausea, perspiration, and a sensation of lightheadedness may also be experienced.
Some women may also experience body aches, much like the flu, or a general feeling of poor health and fatigue.

If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, call 9-1-1. It is all too common for women to continue in their caretaking roles for everyone but themselves, but these symptoms should be taken seriously. Some women may worry about feeling foolish if their symptoms do turn out to be the flu or a terrible case of acid reflux. However, in this case the price of dismissing something important is simply too high to risk.

At Southern Surgical Arts, we are committed to promoting awareness on the important topics of heart disease and what you can do to reduce your risk of developing a cardiac illness. Please share this information with the women you love, so we can all work together toward better heart health in 2016.

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