Q I live in Boston and have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease. I am so afraid all the time that I will have a heart attack, but have heard that women’s symptoms are different from men’s. Is this true?
AYes, it is true that women’s heart attack symptoms may vary from men’s. But before we get started, please know that if you have any suspicion that you are having a heart attack, you should call 911 immediately.
That said, knowing the symptoms can help you to know when to call. Both men and women may suffer some universal warning signs of a heart attack. But it is important to note that a heart attack can also strike almost without warning. Some common warning signs include:
- Angina (chest pain), which is often mistaken for heartburn or indigestion.
- Upper body pain in the back, arms, neck, shoulder, jaw or stomach.
- Breathing problems including shortness of breath and trouble taking a breath.
- A feeling of indigestion, fullness or bloating, which can even seem like choking.
- Vomiting and/or nausea.
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, extreme anxiety or weakness.
- Disrupted heartbeat, including rapidity and/or irregularity.
For women, the symptoms can differ. Some of these are:
- Upper back or shoulder pain.
- Jaw pain and pain that spreads to the jaw.
- Central chest pain or pressure.
- Pain that spreads to the arm.
- Several days of extreme fatigue.
In one study, 515 women who suffered heart attacks were studied. The most frequent symptoms they reported were extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, indigestion, and problems sleeping. 78% said they had one symptom for at least a month before the attack. Only 30% experienced chest pain.
If you eventually find yourself disabled by coronary heart disease, a Boston Social Security disability lawyer can help. Call us today for a free consultation about your case at our special toll free number, 888-904-6847.