The Different Symptoms for Heart Attacks Between Men and Women


Difference in Heart Attack: Male vs Female

Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the United States. Heart disease can occur at any age although we usually think of middle aged or older people being more at risk of having a heart attack. Usually when we think of a heart attack, the first thing that comes to mind is chest pain. While that is certainly a common symptom of heart attacks, other symptoms may also be a warning sign. Some of the most common heart attack symptoms are:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shoulder, arm, neck and/or jaw pain
  • Tightness in chest
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness

Although those symptoms can be experienced by both male and female, female's often have different symptoms of a heart attack. Many women don't experience typical chest pain that men tend to have with heart attacks. Women may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain between the shoulder blades
  • Feeling of indigestion or heartburn
  • Chest discomfort
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Nauseousness

Men have more heart attacks than women do and at an earlier age. Obesity, cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other health problems and lifestyle activities play a tremendous role in heart attacks. Women tend to have more heart attacks around the age of 50. A woman normally starts to go through menopause at this age which lowers the estrogen in their body. Estrogen is believed to help protect your heart. After menopause, a woman's chance of experiencing a heart attack greatly increases. Women tend to have coronary microvascular disease which means that they have blockages not only in their large arteries but also in their small arteries that supply blood to the heart. This can make heart attack symptoms appear differently than the chest pressure and pain. Coronary microvascular disease can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes. Most women also tend to stress more than men do which can increase their chances of a heart attack. In most instances, men experience the chest pain while performing some type of activity while women tend to experience the symptoms while resting.

Anytime that you have these symptoms, whether male or female, you should immediately get to the nearest hospital by either calling an ambulance of having someone drive you. Early heart attack symptoms usually occur in at least 50% of those who suffer from a heart attack. It is imperative to get help as soon as your symptoms begin to occur. The sooner you can get help, the higher your chances are of being treated properly and having a full recovery.