Signs & Symptoms of Heart Disease for Women

Studies have shown that the signs and symptoms of heart disease for women are often different from those for men, and may often be misdiagnosed or ignored as something else. This is why women should become more educated in the signs and symptoms.

  1. Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease

    • Symptoms of a female's heart attack can be very different than those in a man, and as a result, may often be misdiagnosed. Women are more likely to suffer pain in the jaw, back and shoulder than are men.

    Symptoms of a Heart Attack

    • Common heart attack symptoms are shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, cold sweat, dizziness, discomfort in the back or chest, nausea or a burning sensation in the chest or abdomen.


    • Angina or pain in the chest should be regarded as dangerous in women, just as in men. If you do not have a nitroglycerine prescription, you should call 911 if the pain persists for five or more minutes. If you do have a prescription, take one pill and put it under your tongue. Wait five minutes, and if the pain persists, call 911.

    Atrial Fibrillation

    • Atrial fibrillation is the rapid and irregular beating of the heart. When this happens, the heart cannot efficiently pump blood out of the heart, and as a result the blood might pool in the heart chambers, which increases the chance of a blood clot. Signs of atrial fibrillation are weakness, light-headedness, shortness of breath, chest pains and heart palpitations.


    • All signs and symptoms discussed signify a warning that something dangerous may be happening within your body. These should be treated as such, and you should seek immediate medical attention. Call 911, rather than get someone to drive you to the hospital. The ambulance will have EMTs who are trained in dealing with heart problems, and they will also have equipment onboard to immediately start treating you.

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