Chest pain, pressure or discomfort are the most common symptoms of heart problems in women of any age, reports Mayo Clinic. Women age 50 to 55 can also experience symptoms of heart problems unrelated to chest pain, such as nausea or abdominal discomfort, dizziness and shortness of breath.
Women frequently have more subtle symptoms of heart problems than severe chest pain because they tend to have blockages not only in the major arteries to the heart, but in smaller blood vessels as well, a condition called microvascular disease, explains Mayo Clinic. Women may downplay symptoms, such as pain in the jaw, neck and upper back, sweating, lightheadedness and unusual fatigue, because they are not typically associated with heart problems. This often results in damage having already occurred by the time they receive medical attention.
Women under the age of 65 need to pay close attention to symptoms and risks associated with heart problems, especially if they have a family history of heart disease, advises Mayo Clinic. Routinely taking aspirin daily to prevent heart disease is not recommended for women age 50 to 55. Women in this age group can reduce their risk of heart disease by not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week.