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Signs of Heart Attack in Women

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We know women and men differ greatly. But, did you know women experience different signs of heart attack than men, and we may even get a six-week advance warning of an impending heart attack?

As the number one killer of women in the United States, not knowing the female signs of heart attack can be a deadly mistake. Unfortunately, this happens all to often with women, and treating doctors.

According to US News and World Report, “women are 14 percent less likely to receive aspirin immediately to break up a blood clot; 10 percent less likely to receive beta blockers; 25 percent less likely to receive reperfusion therapy (to restore blood flow); and 13 percent less likely to receive angioplasty within 90 minutes of hospital arrival."

The best thing we as women can do is to know the female heart attack symptoms:

Chest pain, which may radiate to neck, shoulder or jaw.
Flu like symptoms
Shortness of breath
Unusual fatigue
Lower Chest Discomfort
Feeling of indigestion
Back pain

You must know that almost half of all women will not experience any chest pain, which is what most emergency rooms doctors (and women) still look for.

Early Warning Signs:

According to Nieca Goldberg, MD, a cardiologist and chief of Women's Cardiac Care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and author of "The Women's Healthy Heart Program," a woman my develop warning signs of an impending heart attack about six weeks before the actual event. Look for:

Shortness of breath
Unexplained fatigue
Stomach pain

If you believe you may be exhibiting signs of a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Do not be concerned with being mistaken. It is better to live with your mistake than to die from it.

Once at the emergency room be certain to tell the ER doctor you believe you may be having a heart attack, because many doctors still do not recognize the difference in symptoms experienced by men and women.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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