Each year, 435,000 women in the United States have a heart attack, but because they don’t always experience the “classic” heart attack symptoms, many don’t know that they’re having one.
Although both men and women can experience chest discomfort, in women it may feel more like fullness or squeezing, similar to a vice tightening. Additionally, women are more likely to have symptoms such as pain in the stomach, back, neck, jaw, or one of both of the arms; shortness of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness; breaking out in a cold sweat; and fatigue.
What should you do if you are experiencing any of these symptoms? According to the American Heart Association, you shouldn’t wait more than five minutes before calling an ambulance — time is of the essence if you’re having a heart attack. “If you’re having symptoms, and they persist for more than a few minutes, seek medical care. If you wait, you may never make it to the hospital,” notes cardiologist Joon Sup Lee, MD.
To learn more about heart attack symptoms in women, click here.
This blog entry was written by Web Editor Diane Fennell.