Common heart attack symptoms in women include chest pain or discomfort, abdominal pain, cold sweats, fatigue, and shortness of breath, explains WebMD. Lightheadedness, nausea, and pain in the jaw, back, neck or arms are also common in women experiencing heart attacks. Women are less likely than men to have the classic symptom of intense chest pain radiating down an arm, although women can also experience heart attacks that present in this manner.
Women sometimes experience a different type of chest discomfort than is typical in men experiencing heart attacks, notes WebMD. Whereas men typically report crushing chest pain, women may instead have a squeezing sensation in the chest or a feeling of fullness in the chest area. Women are also more likely to experience pain or discomfort in other areas of the chest than the left side. Stomach discomfort associated with a heart attack can be mild enough that the woman mistakes it for heartburn, or it can be so intense that she describes it as a sensation of an elephant sitting on top of her abdomen.
Women are also more likely than men to have sweating as a heart attack symptom, according to WebMD. This symptom usually occurs as a nervous cold sweat rather than the type of sweating experienced after a workout. Female heart attack patients sometimes report feeling so fatigued that it is a struggle to perform basic tasks, such as walking to another room.