Nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, dizziness and pain radiating to the abdomen, back shoulders, jaw or neck are symptoms of heart attacks in women, states Mayo Clinic. While the most common symptoms are chest pain and pressure, these symptoms may not be as prominent in women.
Heart attack symptoms in women may seem to masquerade as other conditions, according to WebMD. For example, stomach pain associated with a heart attack may be brushed off as heartburn or a stomach ulcer. Breaking out into a cold sweat with nausea and lightheadedness may be passed off as simple anxiety.
Chest pain and pressure in women may be different compared to the chest pressure felt by men, reports the American Heart Association. Women may not have the crushing chest pain classically associated with a heart attack.
Women's heart attack symptoms tend to occur when they are at rest or asleep, explains Mayo Clinic. Mental stress also seems to be a trigger for some women. Other risks for heart disease in women include diabetes and metabolic syndrome, smoking and a lack of physical exercise. A drop in estrogen during and after menopause also plays a crucial role in the development of heart disease in the smallest blood vessels, a condition called microvascular disease.