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Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

Heart attack symptoms are different for men and women. Dr. Weinrauch explains the warning signs women need to watch out for. Pass this along to someone you love.

By Dr. Larry Weinrauch

Heart attack warning signs for women. Very few pre-menopausal women have heart attacks, unless they smoke, have diabetes, or are on birth control pills for a long period of time. Smoking seems to be the biggest risk factor:

         Nausea and vomiting that won’t stop

         Breathlessness (but not sighing) with exertion or especially if it wakes you up at night

         Chest discomfort that starts behind the breast bone and radiates to either shoulder or arm, neck, or to the lower (but not upper) jaw

         Discomfort in the lower jaw especially if it occurs only with exertion or will not go away

         Discomfort in the upper back especially if it occurs only with exertion or will not go away

         Discomfort in the chest or back that occurs when doing usual chores after a large meal

         Sudden onset of weakness that won’t go away

         Sudden racing heart sensation with a very fast pulse

         Sudden loss of consciousness

         Physical inability to perform usual household chores

Who is most at risk with these symptoms? The more of these factors that apply to you, the greater your risk:

         Menstruation has stopped

         Smoking

         Family history of arteriosclerotic heart disease before age 60

         High blood pressure (even treated)

         Diabetes (even mild, even treated)

         Obesity

         High cholesterol (even treated)

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