Heart attack or acute myocardial infarction is the leading cause of death all over the world. Although, men are considered the prime victims, women are not far behind. Every year 267,000 women fall prey to heart attacks worldwide. Symptoms of heart attack in women differ from those in men. Most mild heart attack symptoms in women are atypical in nature, making it difficult to diagnose. Although, chest pain is considered as the most important heart attack symptom, it may or may not be present in women. In fact, only about 30% of women experience chest pain as a symptom of heart attack. There are several other signs and symptoms that often indicate an onset of heart attack in women.
Symptoms of Mild Heart Attack in Women
Unfortunately, signs and symptoms of mild heart attack in women are mostly of atypical nature, meaning they cannot be positively traced to a heart attack. Therefore, many women tend to take these signs for something benign such as indigestion, gallbladder pain, pinched nerve and so on.
Severe chest pain on the left side is one of the prominent symptoms of mild heart attack. Unfortunately only 30% of women report chest pain prior to a heart attack. The severity of chest pain can be mild or it can be intense. Women who report this symptom often complain of a crushing pain in the chest. The feeling is akin to tightness or heaviness in the chest area. This pain eventually spreads to the upper back, shoulders, neck, jaw etc.
Excessive fatigue is the most common mild heart attack symptom in women. At least 70% of women, who suffer from mild heart attacks, report this symptom prior to a heart attack. Excessive or unusual fatigue often indicates an onset of cardiac arrest. Hence, if you experience such unusual fatigue, without apparent reason, do not hesitate to call emergency services.
There is a constant feeling of acid indigestion, which does not go away even when you take an antacid. You might mistake it for acid reflux or perhaps the effects of eating too much at meal. Do not ignore this symptom unless you are sure it's nothing but common heart burn. Around 42% women experience this symptom.
Shortness of Breath
You may struggle and gasp for air if you are going to have a heart attack. Panting, taking deep breaths etc., can be attributed to the onset of a mild heart attack. As many as 48% women experience this symptom before having a mild stroke.
- Feeling of anxiety or general doom.
- Constant nausea or a sensation of vomiting.
- Lightheadedness or dizziness.
- Sweating profusely with cold, clammy hands and skin.
- Pain in the upper abdomen region.
- Pain between shoulder blades.
- Pain in the inner side of left arm or right arm.
Mild heart attack symptoms are highly unpredictable. There are no peculiar warnings or signs that indicate a heart attack. A woman may experience a few of the above symptoms, but the exact nature of symptoms can only be determined after a proper diagnosis. Hence, always call emergency services or rush to the nearest hospital whenever you experience any of the above symptoms. Emergency services have saved the lives of millions of heart patients all over the world.