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We've all seen how a heart attack is depicted on television and in movies: The character complains about a pain in his arm, clutches his chest and suddenly falls to the floor. But what does a heart attack look like for a woman?

A recent article explains how heart attack symptoms can be quite different for women.


Heart attack symptoms can develop gradually in women, even over the span of weeks. Victims might not even experience chest pain. Some symptoms — such as having difficulty climbing stairs or suffering intermittent indigestion — may seem unrelated to heart disease. Common heart attack symptoms for women include:


  • Shortness of breath
  • Jaw, neck or back pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting


A recent Mayo Clinic article provides more information about heart attack symptoms among women. Sweating and dizziness are frequently associated with heart attacks, but are overlooked as symptoms.


Certain pregnancy complications, as well as low estrogen levels after menopause, can contribute to a woman's long-term risk of developing heart disease. It's also important for women to be aware of risk factors that tend to affect them more than their male counterparts, such as:


  • Metabolic syndrome (a combination of abdomen fat, hypertension, high blood sugar and high triglycerides)
  • Stress and depression
  • Smoking


Were you surprised about this information? What are you doing to stay heart healthy?