Heart Attack Symptoms for Women – No Chest Pain?

Heart Attack Symptoms for Women


No Chest Pain?You notice that Mom just doesn’t look right and you ask her if she’s ok.  “I’m just tired, that’s all, it’s no big deal.”   You sit and talk with her for awhile longer.  She looks a little pale and starts to have trouble breathing.  “I just haven’t been sleeping well.  I’m fine, don’t worry about me.”


It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and our moms, grandmas, and sisters are on our minds.  Everyone is wearing pink shirts, pink wristbands, and even pink cleats (Go Chargers!). Breast cancer is on the forefront of everyone’s thoughts, but major breakthroughs have recently been made in heart attack research.


Have you known any men who had heart attacks? How about women?  The research shows that they could look very different from each other. According to a recent study by the National Institute of Health (NIH), women are less likely to have “classic” symptoms during a heart attack.  What do you look for? How do you know?  The study found that the 3 most common symptoms experienced before a woman’s heart attack were: unusual fatigue, sleep disturbance, and shortness of breath.

No Chest Pain For Heart Attacks?

Wait, no chest pain? Most everyone thinks that in order to have a heart attack you must have chest pain (thank you House and E.R.).  The truth is, 43% of all of the women in the study did not have any chest pain at all during their entire heart attack.

Heart Attack Symptoms for WomenIn this study, prior to heart attacks, women experienced these symptoms:

Unusual fatigue – 70%

Sleep disturbance – 48%

Shortness of breath – 42%

Indigestion – 39%

Anxiety – 35%

During the heart attack, they experienced:

Shortness of breath – 58%

Weakness – 55%

Unusual fatigue – 43%

Cold sweat – 39%

Dizziness – 39%

Please, please educate the women in your life and spread the message so that more lives can be saved.


Are you a heart attack survivor or know someone who is? Please comment below what you felt so that others can learn from your experience as well.


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  • Jane

    Don’t forget some of the atypical warning signs for women are shoulder, jaw, or back pain, and flu-like symptoms.

    If you start feeling strange, don’t hesitate to call emergency folks quickly.