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6 Signs You’re Having a Heart Attack

6 Signs You’re Having a Heart Attack

Would you recognize a heart attack if it hit? Many women don’t. That’s because women can have different symptoms than men…symptoms that can be less dramatic and easily dismissed as not life-threatening.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about half of the more than one million people in the United States who have a heart attack each year die. Others suffer permanent heart damage because they didn’t get help quickly enough. That’s why it’s so important to know the warning signs of heart attack.

6 Signs You’re Having a Heart Attack

1. Discomfort, pressure, pain in the chest

2. Discomfort or pain in the arms, particularly the left arm

These are the classic symptoms of heart attack we all know so well. But women don’t always have those symptoms and are more likely than men to have:

3. Shortness of breath

4. Back, shoulder, and neck pain

5. Jaw pain

6. Flu-like symptoms: nausea, lightheadedness, sweating, and stomach pain

Women and Heart Attack

According to the Office on Women’s Health, a heart attack doesn’t always happen suddenly. It can develop over hours or even weeks. The more signs of heart attack you have — the more likely it is one. If you have symptoms of heart attack, don’t delay! Call 9-1-1 immediately. [Video: Just a Little Heart Attack]

Heart disease is the number one killer of women. It causes one in three deaths each year, according to, but only one in five American women think heart disease is the biggest threat to her health. [Shocking Truth About Women and Heart Disease]

Heart Attack Prevention Tips

1. Don’t smoke. [Kids Smoking Their Health Away]

2. Get regular checkups and know your blood pressure and cholesterol readings. [7 Ways To Control Your Blood Pressure]

3. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. [Exercise (Even a Little) to Live Longer]

4. Watch your diet — too much cholesterol and saturated fats can clog your arteries. A heart-healthy diet contains plenty of nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits. [Processed Meat Linked to Early Death]

5. If you have diabetes, be vigilant about keeping it under control. [Diabetes and Your Heart (infographic)]


Photo: photographer/collection Image Source White | Thinkstock

5 Ways to Reduce Your Heart Attack Risk
Drinking More Water Could Save You From a Heart Attack

Read more: Cholesterol, Conditions, Family, General Health, Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, High Blood Pressure, News & Issues, Women's Health,

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo


+ add your own
4:08PM PDT on Apr 8, 2014

Good to know. I lost my best friend with these symptoms : back, shoulder, and neck pain but I did not know that was "Signs You’re Having a Heart Attack"!

7:42PM PDT on Mar 12, 2014

good info

7:28PM PDT on Mar 11, 2014

Thank you!

6:47AM PDT on Mar 11, 2014

Good reminder. More folks need to have this right in front of them to keep them vigilant.

2:41AM PST on Mar 7, 2014

Thank you :)

4:22PM PST on Mar 6, 2014

Great info, thanks

9:39PM PST on Mar 5, 2014

Thank-you for posting this informative article, it is a good review.

7:20AM PST on Mar 5, 2014


9:08PM PST on Mar 4, 2014

Thanks for the information, very important indeed.

12:53PM PST on Mar 2, 2014

Thanks for posting.

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