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Heart disease symptoms in women

Diagnosing cardiovascular disease in women is more difficult than in men. Men and women experience different symptoms.

In women, symptoms may be confusing and may not immediately signal a heart attack. Women may disregard the symptoms instead of getting help. This is a serious issue. Women often wait too long before seeking treatment, which can cause permanent damage or even death.

The most common heart attack symptom in women is:

  • Pain, pressure, or discomfort in the chest

For others, a heart attack may feel like:

  • Strange discomfort in the upper back

Heart attacks in women may also have symptoms unrelated to chest pain, including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Right arm pain
  • Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back, or abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness and dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should immediately call for emergency medical help. Do not drive yourself to a hospital emergency room unless you have no other options.

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