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How to Recognize Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

January 31, 2017


Heart disease is the most fatal disease in the United States for both men and women, claiming over 800,000 lives each year. More women die from heart disease than all forms of cancer combined.

Approximately two out of three women who suffer a heart attack will not recover fully. The symptoms of heart disease in women may not be the same as those experienced by men. While it is common for men to suffer chest pain when they have a heart attack, women may not experience this symptom. Heart attack symptoms in women are often more subtle. As a result of this, women often miss the symptoms and fail to get emergency assistance promptly, which can significantly increase their risk of death.

The PULSE pneumonic makes it easier for women to recognize the symptoms of heart attack.

P - Persistent chest pain, which may also include pain in the shoulder, upper back, or neck

U - Upset stomach, vomiting, or nausea

L – Lightheadedness or dizziness

S – Shortness of breath

E – Excessive sweating

Fortunately, there are things that you can do to prevent and control heart disease. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting unhealthy habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, can reduce your risk of heart disease significantly. However, you have to take care not to overexert yourself, or you may jeopardize your overall health. If you need motivation to stick to your health goals, you can get a family member or friend to join you.

20 questions to ask about heart attack