When we talk about heart attacks, the most common and recognizable symptoms are chest pain, heartburn, and shortness of breath. But did you know that those symptoms are actually more common in men than women? In fact, women are more likely to die of a heart attack simply because they don't realize they are having symptoms, and therefore don't seek medical attention in time. The way our bodies tell us we are having a heart attack are very different, and knowing the difference could save your life.

Symptoms that can occur in both men and women include:

  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Upper body pain
  • Heartburn
  • Dizziness and/or fainting

Symptoms that occur more commonly in women include:

  • Indigestion or gas-like pain
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Pain between the shoulder blades
  • Recurring chest discomfort
  • Jaw pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of impending doom or anxiety

Women often do not realize that the symptoms they are experiencing are actually a heart attack because the general understanding is that chest pains are the main indicator of a heart attack. This is why it is so crucial to familiarize yourself with _all _possible symptoms and to understand that in many situations women will experience many other symptoms before they ever have chest pains, if at all.

The team at Osceola Regional's Heart and Vascular Institute recommends that when it comes to a heart attack, time is of the essence no matter who you are. If you think that you or someone you love is having a heart attack, do not wait, dial 911 immediately.

For more information on heart attack prevention and early heart attack care, check out our online resource here.