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What are the main symptoms of heart disease in women?

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Quick Answer

Angina, or chest pain, is the most common symptom of coronary artery disease, according to WebMD. Shortness of breath; palpitations; weakness or dizziness; nausea; and sweating are also common. Heart attack symptoms include discomfort, pressure, heaviness or pain in the chest, arm or below the breastbone.

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Full Answer

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association cited by WebMD shows that 70 percent of men said they felt chest pain when having a heart attack compared to 58 percent of women. The lack of pain may cause women to delay seeking treatment. Women under age 55 who seek treatment without chest pain during a heart attack are more likely to die compared to men in the same age group. Heart attack signs in women may include unexplained fatigue or weakness and stomach or abdominal pain.

Heart attack symptoms typically last 30 minutes or longer and are not relieved by oral medications or rest, explains WebMD. Symptoms may start as a mild discomfort and progress to significant pain. A myocardial infarction, a heart attack with no pain, occurs most often in diabetics. Risk factors for heart disease include being overweight, obese or inactive; high cholesterol or high blood pressure; a family history of heart disease; smoking; and diabetes.

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