Consider the following statistics:
- One in three American women dies of heart disease or a heart attack (1 in 23 women die from breast cancer)
- Women account for nearly one half of all heart attack deaths
- Thirty-eight percent of women will die within 1 year after having a heart attack
- Within six years of having a heart attack, about 46 percent of women become disabled with heart failure
- Two thirds of women who have a heart attack fail to make a full recovery.
It is true that women usually have heart attacks about 10 years later than men. It is also true that symptoms of a heart attack in women
can be different than symptoms in men.
Heart Attack Symptoms in Women
Common symptoms of a heart attack in women include:
- Pain or discomfort (often a pressure-like pain) in or around the chest, shoulders, jaw, neck, back, or arms. It may feel like a squeezing, pressing sensation in the chest.
- Indigestion or heartburn-type sensation (see Heartburn or Heart Attack?).
- Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach).
- Shortness of breath (feeling like you can't get enough air).
In about 20 percent of heart attack cases, women do not have pain or discomfort. They may just experience some of the other symptoms, such as shortness or breath or nausea.