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Women and Heart Disease Symptoms

Heart disease is often associated with men but in reality more women die of heart disease than man each year. One challenge in detecting heart disease in women is that the symptoms in women can be different from symptoms in men.

Symptoms of heart disease in women are

The most common heart attack symptom in women is pressure or discomfort in the chest but it's not always severe or even the most prominent symptom, particularly in women. The other symptoms are:

  • Discomfort in neck, shoulder, upper back or abdomen.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue

These symptoms are more subtle compared to the crushing chest pain often associated with heart attacks and this may be because women tend to have blockages not only in their main arteries, but in many cases in the smaller arteries that supply blood to the heart. This is often called small vessel heart disease or microvascular disease.