What Are the Signs of a Heart Attack for Women Over 50?

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Pain or pressure in the chest is the most common symptom of a heart attack in a woman, but discomfort in the back, neck, jaw or shoulder is also typical, states Mayo Clinic. Sweating, nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue and difficulty breathing are additional signs of heart attacks in women.

Stomach pain that is mistaken for heartburn or an ulcer and severe abdominal pressure are also common heart attack symptoms in women, reports WebMD. The chest discomfort in women is not necessarily the same pain that men experience; women may have sensations of tightness or fullness in any location in the chest, not necessarily restricted to the left side. Pain in a woman’s back or jaw may be sudden or gradual, and often it is intermittent before becoming persistent and severe.

The subtle symptoms of heart attack often seen in woman may be due to small vessel heart disease, or microvascular disease, the tendency for women to suffer blockages in the smaller arteries of the heart, explains Mayo Clinic. Women can experience heart attack symptoms while sleeping or resting, and they often seek medical treatment after damage has occurred to the heart because of the subtlety of their symptoms. Mental stress is also known to be a causative agent for heart attack symptoms in women.