The 7 Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack You Shouldn’t Ignore

woman looking distressed holding heart

What is a heart attack? When you develop plaque (from cholesterol) on your heart arteries, blood is blocked from flowing and reaching all areas of your heart. As a result, your heart is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, leading to cell death. That’s a heart attack.

Most women who have a heart attack feel some sort of chest pain or discomfort. But women’s heart attack symptoms are not uniform— they may experience more varied symptoms than men.

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most start slowly. The early signs of a heart attack can be subtle or silent. Knowing what to look for and acting quickly can help prevent further damage to your heart.

Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack in Women

  1. Chest pain or discomfort (lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back)
  2. Discomfort anywhere in the upper body – jaw, neck, shoulders, back, either arm, upper stomach area
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Nausea or vomiting
  5. Sweating
  6. Dizziness
  7. A sense that something is wrong

It’s important to be aware of and attentive to any of these symptoms. Heart attacks don’t always feel like they look in the movies. Not everyone has chest pain or discomfort. Heart attack discomfort may not even feel that painful.

Even recognizing the symptoms, most women delay calling 911 and lose critical time, according to an international study.

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. If you’re not sure, go to the hospital and let a doctor decide. Every minute counts!

Want to learn more? Watch this video: