Heart Attack: His vs. Hers

Heart disease is one of the leading killers of both men and women. Although symptoms can be typical or atypical for both, there are some differences in the way women respond to heart attack, and some symptoms that are unique to them. Because of this, more women than men die from heart disease each year. Learning the heart attack symptoms may just save your life or the life of someone you love.

Classic Heart Attack Symptoms
While there are some atypical symptoms that affect women, classic heart attack symptoms can affect both men and women. The most common are:

  • Crushing, squeezing, pressure and pain in the center of the chest
  • Gray or pale appearance
  • Cold/clammy skin
  • Pain radiating through one or both shoulders, jaw or neck
  • Pain that extends to the stomach area, like heartburn

Heart Attacks Women Commonly Experience
Although women can experience many of the classical symptoms of heart attacks, they often will experience different, unique symptoms. Because of this, women may overlook the symptoms and not realize they are suffering a heart attack. These symptoms may be:

  • An unusual dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Pain in upper body but not the chest. It could be in the arms, neck, jaw, teeth, etc.
  • Extreme shortness of breath
  • Feeling of heavy pressure on the chest, which may be mistaken for heartburn or indigestion
  • Cold sweats, unlike menopause
  • Rapid, racing heart beat
  • Sudden, unusual and extreme fatigue

Recognizing the differences between men’s and women’s heart attacks can keep you from ignoring what may be very serious symptoms. If you experience classic or atypical symptoms and think you may be having a heart attack, do not hesitate—call 9-1-1 immediately.

If you would like more information on heart disease or heart attack, contact the Heart Center at the Medical Center of Plano, where we’ve been delivering world-class care since 1987. Visit us online today or give us a call at 972-519-1307 to found out how our specialists can help you.

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