- Whart Are the Warning Signs?
- Mini Heart Attack
- 4 Silent Signs
- How to Prevent
What are the warning signs of a heart attack in a woman?
The signs and symptoms of heart disease in women are different than those in men.
Common heart attack signs and symptoms in women include:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Chest pain is described as a squeezing or feeling of fullness in the chest, or an extremely uncomfortable sensation.
- Pain in your arm, back, neck, or jaw
- Stomach pain
- Stomach pain during a heart attack can make a woman feel like she has an ulcer.
- Some women can feel such severe abdominal pressure it feels as if an elephant is sitting on her stomach.
- Shortness of breath
- Women may experience sudden shortness of breath—without doing anything—as if they have run a marathon.
- Sudden sweating without an obvious reason should prompt women to visit the doctor to rule out heart attack.
What does a mini heart attack feel like?
You must have often heard people saying something about a mini heart attack or mild heart attack. There is no such term as a “mini” heart attack in the medical dictionary, but it can be compared to a mild heart attack or a silent heart attack.
Mild heart attack
- A partial block in your coronary artery that causes mild signs and symptoms of heart attack is called a mild heart attack.
- If your doctor tells you that you have had a mild heart attack, it probably means your heart is not damaged much and is working properly.
Silent heart attack
- A doctor discovers that you had a silent heart attack when he routinely examines you and orders an electrocardiogram.
- This heart attack might have occurred “silently” over months or years before without you even knowing.
- A silent heart attack does not exhibit chest pain and shortness of breath — the typical signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
- Women are more likely to have a “silent” heart attack as per an analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
What are the 4 silent signs of a heart attack?
Many women think that the typical signs of a heart attack like crushing chest pain and shortness of breath can be easily recognized and cannot be missed. Anyone can experience these symptoms, but many women experience “silent” symptoms that may be missed.
The silent signs of a heart attack that may be missed by women include:
- Unusual fatigue. Women who feel fatigued due to a heart attack may think the fatigue might be due to juggling between typical work and household duties.
- Burning pain in the chest. Women tend to relate this to hyperacidity.
- Pain in upper back, shoulder, arms, neck, or jaw.
- Sleep disturbances. Women who are at risk of heart disease, including those who are obese, may experience difficulty in getting good sleep, which may be a warning sign of a heart attack.
If a woman has been experiencing the above symptoms, she should visit the doctor right away to rule out the possibility of heart disease or heart attack that has been quietly giving signals.
What should women do to prevent a heart attack?
Women should schedule a visit with their doctor to know about their personal risks for heart disease.
Lifestyle modifications that may prevent heart attack in women include:
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Women: Don’t Ignore These 3 Subtle Heart Attack Symptoms. Available at: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/women-dont-ignore-3-subtle-heart-attack-symptoms/
Women, Take Your Heart Attack Symptoms Seriously. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/women/features/women-heart-attack-symptoms#1
Heart Attack Symptoms in Women. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/warning-signs-of-a-heart-attack/heart-attack-symptoms-in-women
6 Symptoms of Women's Heart Attacks. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/features/womens-heart-attack-symptoms#1
What is a Silent Heart Attack? Available at: https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/about-heart-disease-in-women/facts/silent-heart-attack-symptoms-risks
Causes and Prevention of Heart Disease. Available at: https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/about-heart-disease-in-women/facts/causes-and-prevention-of-heart-disease
Menopause and Heart Disease. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease/menopause-and-heart-disease
Heart attack and stroke: Men vs. women. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/heart-attack-and-stroke-men-vs-women
Cole CS, McSweeney JC, Cleves MA, Armbya N, Bliwise DL, Pettey CM. Sleep disturbance in women before myocardial infarction. Heart Lung. 2012;41(5):438-445. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3432660
Top What Are the Signs of a Heart Attack in Women? Related Articles
What Does Chest Pain on the Left Side Above a Female Breast Mean?Chest pain on the left side above a female breast can have a variety of causes. Learn the signs of chest pain on the left side, what may cause it, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat it.
What Is the Difference Between Electrocardiogram and Electrocardiograph?An electrocardiogram or electrocardiograph (ECG or EKG) are the same thing. An EKG is a test that examines the heart function by measuring the electrical activity of the heart. Based on the electrocardiogram, the doctor determines whether the electrical activity of the heart is normal or irregular, aiding in diagnosis of various heart problems.
Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)A heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack can cause chest pain, heart failure, and electrical instability of the heart.
Heart Attack Symptoms and Early Warning Signs
Recognizing heart attack symptoms and signs can help save your life or that of someone you love. Some heart attack symptoms, including left arm pain and chest pain, are well known but other, more nonspecific symptoms may be associated with a heart attack. Nausea, vomiting, malaise, indigestion, sweating, shortness of breath, and fatigue may signal a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms and signs in women may differ from those in men.
Heart Attack vs. HeartburnHeartburn is a symptom of another disease or medical problem and can be described as a feeling of burning in the chest accompanied by symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or a sour taste or food stuck in the back of the throat. Heart attack occurs when an artery in the heart is completely blocked by a blood clot, which causes that portion of heart muscle to die. Heart attack also has symptoms of chest pain, nausea, and vomiting, however, other warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack are unusual weakness or fatigue, and persistent and/or increased severity of symptoms over a few minutes. Heart attack is a life threatening emergency. If you think you or someone you are with is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately for urgent medical treatment. It may save your life.
Heart Attack vs. Stroke Symptoms, Differences, and Similarities
Heart attack usually is caused by a clot that stops blood flow supplying oxygen to an area of heart muscle, which results in heart muscle death. Stroke or "brain attack" is caused by a loss of blood supply to the brain (usually a blood clot) or by hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding within the brain), which results in brain tissue death. Both heart attack and stroke usually come on suddenly, produce similar symptoms, can be disabling, and can be fatal.
The classic symptoms and warning signs of heart attack are different.
Classic heart attack warning signs are chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, pain that radiates to the shoulders, back, arms, belly, jaw, or teeth, sweating, fainting, and nausea and vomiting. Moreover, woman having a heart attack may have additional symptoms like abdominal pain or discomfort, dizziness, clammy skin, and moderate to severe fatigue.
The classic symptoms and warning signs that a person is having a stroke are confusion or loss of consciousness, sudden severe headache, speech problems, problems seeing out of one or both eyes, and numbness or weakness of only one side of the body. Moreover, a woman having a stroke may have additional warning symptom and signs like shortness of breath, disorientation, agitation, behavioral changes, weakness, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and hiccups.
Recognition of stroke symptoms is vital for emergency treatment. The acronym "FAST" stands for recognition of Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and a Time for action.
If you experience the symptoms heart attack or stroke (FAST) or see them develop in another person, then contact 911 immediately.
Heart Disease SlideshowHeart disease prevention includes controlling risk factors like diet, exercise, and stress. Heart disease symptoms in women may differ from men. Use a heart disease risk calculator to determine your heart attack risk.
Heart SymptomsHeart attacks symptoms vary greatly for men and women, from anxiety and fatigue to nausea and sweating. Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and know the symptoms that may require an immediate trip to the hospital.
How Long Can You Live With an Implanted Defibrillator?An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is an electronic device that tracks the heart rate and restores a normal rhythm, if required. It is first-line treatment for patients who are at risk of sudden cardiac death. ICD is useful in reducing the death rate amongst patients suffering from cardiac arrest, heart failure, reduced ejection fraction (reduced amount of blood pumped out of heart’s chambers), specific structural heart diseases. An ICD detects and corrects the abnormal rhythm of the heart.
What Is an Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump Used For?Intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation or intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is a type of therapeutic device which helps the heart to pump more blood. Attached to the tip of the IABP catheter, is a long balloon. This is called an intra-aortic balloon or IAB. The other end of the catheter is attached to a machine which inflates and deflates the balloon in sync with the heartbeat.
What Is Treadmill Stress Testing?During the treadmill stress test, your heart rate, blood pressure, and electrocardiograph (ECG) are monitored while you walk fast on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bicycle. Treadmill testing is used to check the capacity of your heart during periods of exertion, know if your chest pain is due to a heart problem, see how well your heart medications are working, check the success of cardiac procedures such as angioplasty or bypass surgery that you have undergone for coronary heart disease, to predict your risk of getting a heart attack, or decide a customized and safe exercise program for you.
Why Are Ventricular Repair (Cardiorrhaphy) Procedures Performed?Ventricular repair is also called cardiorrhaphy. It is a lifesaving procedure performed for cardiac (heart) trauma in the emergency room (ER). The indications for emergency thoracotomy with or without cardiorrhaphy include cardiac arrest (heart attack) in patients with penetrating chest injuries, persistent hypotension (decreased blood pressure) or signs of cardiac tamponade, and cardiac arrest in the emergency room (ER) following a blunt trauma.