Benjamin F Call, MD

February 28th, 2017

a woman kneeling in the sand on a beach drawing a heart in the sandIncreasingly, it is evident that women’s symptoms are not as predictable as men’s in matters of the heart. Because of the differences in how heart attacks may present in women as opposed to their male counterparts, it is important to learn all you can about heart attack warning signs and symptoms.

Each woman presents with different symptoms of a heart attack, and their symptoms are often milder than those of a man. “Angina” is the medical term for the feeling people get when their heart runs out of oxygen due to blocked arteries. Many women experiencing angina describe it as a feeling of “tightness” or “heaviness” or “pressure” in the chest, and some may attribute the feeling to a panic attack. It may also present as spells of unexplained shortness of breath, burning in the chest, gas in the chest, sweatiness or fatigue.

Milder symptoms of angina generally come on with physical exertion, and are relieved in a few minutes with rest. More severe symptoms however, including those that are occurring more frequently or are lasting greater than 10-15 minutes, may signal the onset of a heart attack.

Not recognizing or perhaps discounting certain symptoms may cost a life, perhaps your own. Below is a list of symptoms most often experi
enced by women prior to and during a heart attack.

Women’s major symptoms leading up to a heart attack may include:
• Unusual fatigue – 70%
• Sleep disturbances – 48%
• Shortness of breath – 42%
• Indigestion – 39%
• Anxiety – 35 %
Major symptoms during a heart attack may include:
• Shortness of breath – 58%
• Weakness – 55 %
• Unusual fatigue – 43%
• Cold sweat – 39%
• Dizziness – 39%

If you are having any of these symptoms, call 911. After calling for help, crush or chew an aspirin to prevent further blood clotting. When it comes to matters of the heart, always listen closely to the signs and symptoms of heart attacks and react as if your life depends on it. To learn more about heart attack symptoms or to reach Pocatello Cardiology 208-234-2001.

Portneuf Heart & Vascular