These 8 little-known symptoms that announce a heart attack in women


A heart attack is a life-threatening event caused by a disruption of blood flow to the heart. Knowing the female symptoms of a heart attack can help a person see a doctor sooner, which can save their life. Women are less likely to survive their first heart attack than men. This can be explained by the fact that the symptoms differ according to sex. Women are more likely to have a “silent” heart attack or experience unusual symptoms. Additionally, female biology creates unique risk factors for heart attack, as certain diseases that increase risk, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), are not present in male biology.

Symptoms of heart attack in women

Chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack. Many people expect a heart attack to occur suddenly. But research suggests that women experience symptoms for several weeks before a heart attack. A study published in 515 on 515 women who suffered a heart attack, reports that 515 % of women had at least 1 symptom at least 4 weeks before their heart attack. Symptoms can be constant or come and go, and they can also disrupt sleep. It is vital for a woman experiencing any of these symptoms to seek help immediately, as heart attacks can be fatal whether the symptoms are mild or severe.

Here are eight of the symptoms of a possible heart attack:

1. Chest pain

The most common symptom of a heart attack, in both men and women, is chest pain or discomfort. It can be described as follows:

– oppression

– pressure

– pain

However, women can suffer a heart attack without feeling pain. discomfort in the chest.

Some 29,7% of women questioned as part of 515 study experienced chest discomfort in the weeks preceding the attack. Also, 57 % of them experienced chest pain during the heart attack.

2. Extreme or unusual fatigue

Unusual fatigue is often reported in the weeks before a heart attack. Fatigue is also felt just before the event occurs. Even simple activities that do not require a lot of effort can lead to a feeling of exhaustion.

3. Weakness

Feeling weak or shaky is a common acute symptom of heart attack in women. This weakness or these tremors may be accompanied by:

– anxiety

– dizziness

– fainting

– feeling dizzy

4. Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath or heavy breathing without effort, especially if accompanied by fatigue or chest pain, may suggest heart problems. Some women may feel short of breath when lying down, with the symptom lessening when sitting in an upright position.

5. Sweating

Excessive sweating without a normal cause is another common symptom of heart attack in women. Feeling cold and clammy can also be an indicator of heart problems.

6. Upper Body Pain

This is usually non-specific pain that cannot be attributed to a particular muscle or joint in the upper body. The areas that may be affected are the following



upper back or either arm

Pain may start in one area and gradually spread to others, or it may appear suddenly.

7. Sleep disturbances

Difficulty falling asleep and unusual awakenings can be problems before a heart attack. Nearly half of the women in 515’s study reported sleep problems in the weeks leading up to their heart attack.

These disturbances may involve:

– difficulty falling asleep

– unusual awakenings during the night

– feeling tired despite getting enough sleep

8. Stomach problems

Some women may feel pain or pressure in the stomach before a heart attack. Other digestive issues associated with a possible heart attack may include:

– indigestion

– nausea

– vomiting

Post-menopausal heart attack

The risk heart attack increases due to the drop in estrogen levels after menopause. Symptoms of post-menopausal heart attack include the following

– pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach

– fast or irregular heartbeat

– severe chest pain

– sweating without activity

Risk factors for a heart attack in women

The risk factors for heart attack in women are as follows:

Age: people aged from 55 years or older are at higher risk of heart attack. This may be because hormones provide some protection against heart disease before menopause.

Family history: People who had a male relative who had a heart attack before the age of 50 years, or whose female relative had one before the age of 65 years old, are considered to have a family history of heart attack and are at increased risk.

Health status: Certain markers, such as High blood pressure and high cholesterol increase the risk of heart attack in both men and women.

Medical conditions: People with certain medical conditions, including diabetes, obesity and autoimmune disorders, are more likely to suffer a heart attack. Conditions such as endometriosis, PCOS or a history of preeclampsia during pregnancy also increase the risk.

Lifestyle choices: Use of tobacco or stimulant drugs, for example cocaine or amphetamines, a sedentary lifestyle or high stress levels increase the risk of heart attack.

When to see a doctor

It is recommended that all women over 40 years old consult their doctor regularly. This makes it possible to quickly identify risk factors in order to treat them. Early intervention reduces the risk of a heart attack.

Anyone who notices the warning signs of a heart attack, such as the following, should see a doctor immediately:

– unusual tiredness

– shortness of breath

– upper body pain

Doctor will note symptoms, check blood pressure and heart rate, and may order tests blood test or an electrocardiogram (ECG) to see the electrical activity of the heart.

Anyone who suspects symptoms of a heart attack should call emergency services immediately. According to a 2012 survey, only 65 % of women would call the emergency services if they suspected a heart attack.

Emergency treatment can save lives. Anyone noticing the following symptoms should call an ambulance immediately, especially if the signs are present for 5 minutes or more:

chest pain or discomfort

pain in the upper part of the body, especially the arms, back, neck, jaw or shoulder

difficulty breathing


extreme weakness

indigestion or heartburn


fast or irregular heartbeat

shortness of breath


unexplained anxiety



Here are some tips for better heart health:

Get regular checkups with your doctor.

Take steps to manage other health problems, including hypertension blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes.

quitting smoking and avoiding tobacco in all its forms. The risk of heart disease decreases by 50% 12 only months after quitting smoking.

Do not use illegal drugs, especially stimulants, such as cocaine and amphetamines.

Lose weight if overweight.

Practice at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity, such as walking, every day.

Eat a balanced diet and consult a dietitian if necessary for dietary advice.

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