What Signs of a Stroke or Heart Attack Do Women Experience Different From Men?


Quick Answer

Many women do not experience classic stroke symptoms, like sudden weakness or confusion, says WebMD. Similarly, Healthline notes that women do not report chest pain as frequently as men during a heart attack.

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The five classic symptoms of a stroke are sudden weakness of the face or limbs, confusion and difficulty speaking, impaired vision, dizziness and severe headache, reports WebMD. Thirteen percent of women, in contrast to 9 percent of men, do not report any of these symptoms during a stroke. Instead, these women report such symptoms as fainting, pain, seizures or trouble breathing. Because symptoms are more vague in female stroke victims, women are less likely to receive essential medication.

Most men report such heart attack symptoms as chest pain, irregular heart rate, trouble breathing, dizziness, a cold sweat and stomach pain resembling indigestion, says Healthline. However, women most often report fatigue, anxiety, back and shoulder pain, and throat or jaw pain. Many women never experience chest pain, and over 80 percent experience at least one symptom for nearly a month prior to the heart attack. Women are also less likely to seek immediate medical help for a heart attack. In a 2009 survey, half of the female respondents admitted that they would not call paramedics if they suspected a heart attack.

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