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What are commonly missed female heart attack symptoms?

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Quick Answer

While chest pain is the most typical heart attack symptom for both men and women, women may encounter a tightening rather than a crushing type of pain in their chests, as WebMD notes. This pain may appear anywhere in a woman's chest rather than simply on her left side. Women are also more likely to suffer pain in the back, neck or jaw rather than in the left arm, which is more common for men.

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What are commonly missed female heart attack symptoms?
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Full Answer

Women also occasionally experience stomach pain as part of a heart attack, with the pain mimicking that of heartburn or a stomach flu, according to WebMD. This pain may also take the form of abdominal pressure, which some women describe as having a great weight placed on the stomach. Similarly, women often experience fatigue emanating from their stomachs, and this pain can cause them to struggle with simple activities and movements. The type of sweating that women experience during a heart attack feels similar to stress-related sweat rather than exercise- or heat-induced perspiration. Given their different symptoms, women on average delay calling for emergency assistance more often than men.

Women are more likely to assume that their symptoms are the result of acid reflux or normal aging, and as a result, they often react by taking an aspirin, as the American Heart Association notes. They often assume that the signs of a heart attack are more distinctly pronounced than their actual symptoms. As such, women should be attuned to any chest discomfort matched with one or more other symptoms.

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