Heart attack symptoms aren’t always the same for men and women. In fact, some women won’t experience the crushing chest pain that we see in the movies. Instead they may experience other symptoms not traditionally connected with a heart attack, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. Even worse, women downplay their symptoms and delay getting the help they need.
The key to surviving a heart attack is understanding all of the symptoms, which may include:
Chest discomfort: Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of the chest that lasts for several minutes. Or, it goes away and comes back.
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
Shortness of breath: May come with or before chest discomfort
Other signs: May include cold sweat, nausea/vomiting or lightheadedness
Then, if you suspect you or a loved one is having a heart attack, don’t second-guess yourself. Call 9-1-1 and get to the hospital right away.
For more advice, watch this video featuring ProMedica Physicians cardiologist Daniel Cassavar, MD, FACC.