What is a heart attack? When plaque (from cholesterol) builds up in the arteries of the heart, blood flow is blocked from reaching all parts of the heart. As a result, the heart is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, leading to cell death. This is a heart attack.
Most women who have a heart attack experience some kind of pain or discomfort in their chest. But the symptoms of heart attack in women are not uniform and may show more different symptoms than in men.
Some heart attacks are sudden and severe, but most have a gradual onset. The first symptoms of a heart attack can be subtle or silent. Knowing what to look for and taking quick action can prevent further damage to your heart.
Heart attack signs and symptoms in women
Chest pain or discomfort (lasting more than a few minutes or coming back)
Discomfort in the upper part of the body – chin, neck, shoulders, back, arms, upper stomach.
Shortness of breath
Nausea and vomiting
A feeling that something is wrong
It is important to be aware of any of these symptoms and be on the lookout for them. Heart attacks don’t always look like they do in the movies. Not everyone experiences chest pain and discomfort. A heart attack may not feel that painful.
Despite recognizing the symptoms, most women delay calling 911 and miss an important appointment, according to an international study.