We have spoken about the common symptoms of heart attack multiple times. By now, it must be on our fingertips and we might immediately identify a person having a heart attack and take immediate precautionary measures. A tightness and heaviness in the chest, pain in left arm and breathlessness are some most common heart attack symptoms. But when we talk about Heart Attack in women, we might be referring to something more than the usual chest pain and breathlessness.
The Courier Journal puts it thus, “until recently, heart disease was considered a man’s disease.” According to a statistical study, men on an average tend to have a heart attack around 65 years of age, but women experience heart attack at above 70 years. However, heart attack in women is usually fatal as compared to men and the rates of survival have been unusually low.
So what are those unusual heart attack symptoms in women that patients should be aware of?
As contrary to men experiencing a very tight feeling on the left side of the chest, this heart attack symptom in women might crop up at a later stage. In a woman, heart attack might start with very subtle and negligible symptoms like heartburn and nausea that they usually mistake for a gastro problem or indigestion.
Here are 3 subtle symptoms that women should never ignore, especially if they have a family history of heart attacks.
1. Unusual fatigue
It is nothing uncommon for women to experience fatigue as they remain a lot busier most of the times. Family life, work life, social circle, household chores tend to tire out women most of the times, but if it is an unusual tiredness you are experiencing, it might be a red alert for you. Look out for these signs –
- Feeling excessively worn out after a routine workout
- A fatigue or heavy chest even when at rest
- A tired feeling even after activities like going to the washroom or shopping
2. Sweating/Shortness of breath
Another physical discomfort usually experienced by menopausal and aging women. These symptoms are again common unless you experience them under the following circumstances –
- Stress sweat when there is no cause of stress at all
- Feeling breathless and sweating even when not exerted
- A worse situation of breathless that keeps continuing long after exertion
- Feeling breathless when lying down but better when propped up
- Sweating and feeling of breathlessness along with chest pain
3. Pain in neck, jaw, and back
Like men, women don’t experience a sudden pain in the left side of the chest or left arm. For a woman, the pain might radiate from the jaw to the neck and shoulders. It might worsen with exercise or physical activity and stop when at rest. Some other areas and circumstances of pain to look out for are –
- Pain in either arm, not just the left
- Pain that starts in the chest and radiates to the upper or lower back
- Sudden pain that can wake you up at night
- An excruciating pain that is specific to the left lower jaw.
All the above symptoms mentioned are common physical symptoms experienced by women at different points in their life and under various circumstances. That being the reason, women usually never take these symptoms seriously. Even doctors might dismiss them as common heartburn or exertion symptoms.
Contrary to men, women don’t usually experience a sudden heart attack symptom. Such uncomfortable pain might be chronic for a month or weeks on end. You must identify these symptoms and take care before it becomes a fatal heart attack.
Therefore, it is important that you visit for routine checkups and opt for precautionary health tests.