November 2018

Do You Know the Different Heart Attack Symptoms in Men and Women?

You might think you know what a heart attack looks like—you clutch your chest in pain and fall to the ground. But heart attacks don’t always stick to this script—especially in women.

Older couple outdoors, smiling

Here’s a look at some of the different heart attack symptoms in men and women.

In women

Women are more likely to have atypical and subtle symptoms during a heart attack, including:

  • Fatigue. You may feel tired for days without a clear reason.

  • Dull Pain. While chest pain is the most common sign, you may feel pain or discomfort in your neck, back, jaw, or stomach.

  • Nausea. You may vomit or feel sick to your stomach.

  • Shortness of breath. You may have a hard time breathing, even when sitting down.

In men

Men are more likely to experience the typical symptoms we associate with heart attacks, including:

  • Severe chest pain. You may feel like someone is squeezing or heart or like you have a large weight on your chest.

  • Shooting pain. You may feel a pain shooting down your left arm.

  • Cold sweat. You may break out in a cold sweat.

Whether you’re a man or women, if you suspect you might be having a heart attack, call 911. Every second counts.



Online Medical Reviewer: McDonough, Brian, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 11/2/2017
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