Chest pain and numbness in the left arm means heart attack right? While these are classic heart attack symptoms, there are several other warning signs that men and women may ignore.
Most heart attacks start with mild pain or discomfort. In general, 64% of women, as opposed to 50% of men, who die from heart attacks do not have classic symptoms.
For men the most common symptoms include chest pain, tingling/numbness down the left arm, shortness of breath, sweating and light-headedness. Studies have shown that women may experience different signs than men.
“Women often experience less specific signs and symptoms such as back, neck, jaw or stomach pain; shortness of breath, indigestion or vomiting. Women tend to have more heartburn, loss of appetite, heart flutter or new fatigue,” said Dr. Salem Maaliki, interventional cardiologists at Prairie Lakes Healthcare System. “Studies suggest that women tend to have a better body awareness overall than men. Therefore, it’s critical women learn the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.”
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is not gender specific. It is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. The AHA advises people to learn the signs of a heart attack and to have any unusual symptom checked out by a doctor.