Do Women Have Different Heart Attack Symptoms?

  • Medical Author:
    Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI

    Dr. Kulick received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine. He performed his residency in internal medicine at the Harbor-University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and a fellowship in the section of cardiology at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology.

  • Medical Editor: Dennis Lee, MD
    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

Ask the experts

Are heart attack symptoms in women different than in men?

Doctor's response

Symptoms of a heart attack in women may be similar to men (mid chest pain), but may more likely be "atypical" (shortness of breath, sweatiness, arm or jaw pain only, etc). One must remember that either sex may have an "atypical" presentation, but it is more common in women. Anyone with symptoms they feel could be consistent with a heart attack (please see the "Heart Attack Warning Signs" article) should call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible.

Medically reviewed by Wayne S. Blocker, MD; Board Certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology

REFERENCE:

"Previously undiagnosed myocardial infarction"
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Reviewed on 9/8/2017