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Know the Signs of a Female Heart Attack

Red Felt Heart On Womans Sweater

Most people know the signs of a heart attack: sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, and eventual loss of consciousness. However, far fewer people know the signs of a female heart attack. While it may seem unnecessary to delineate female and male heart attacks, symptoms of cardiac events differ significantly between the two. In fact, even doctors can miss the signs of a female heart attack. Women are 50 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed afterwards because symptoms are typically designated as “atypical.”

In reality, signs of a female heart attack are very common across the sex. If you or your loved one is at an increased risk for experiencing a heart attack, it is important to know the symptoms most likely to present in a female body. Here are three important female heart attack symptoms you should never ignore, as well as how a medical alert device can be an essential part of your emergency response.

Neck, Jaw, Shoulder, Upper Arm, and/or Upper Back Pain

Pain in these areas may signal a heart condition, especially if you can’t feel a specific muscle or joint causing the ache. When there is a problem with the heart, nerves are triggered in the chest. However, in female bodies, pain is often felt elsewhere. Upper arm pain is one of the more common experiences with a female heart attack. These pains will increase with exercise, but in some cases, the pain is sudden and not due to physical exertion.

It is important to note that women can also experience chest pain. However, they are more likely to have pain in other areas of the body. 

Extreme, Unusual Fatigue

This symptom can seem vague, but it should not be disregarded. If fatigue is new or dramatic, it may be a sign of a heart attack. This fatigue may happen if you feel critically worn out after a normal exercise routine. The fatigue will be so intense that simple tasks, like making the bed and walking to the bathroom, feel impossible. 

Sudden Shortness of Breath

While shortness of breath and hot flashes are common among women experiencing menopause, they can also be signs of a female heart attack. Sudden sweating and shortness of breath will occur without exertion, and breathlessness will worsen over time. Additionally, shortness of breath may improve when sitting up and worsen when lying down. 

Using a Medical Alert Device to Address Female Heart Attacks

Keeping Your Heart Healthy With Alert1

Because female heart attack symptoms are so nebulous, women are often unaware that they should receive medical care. In most cases, they visit the emergency room only after the heart damage has occurred. Adding a medical alert device to the situation can both help a loved one receive medical care and improve health communication. If a loved one has access to emergency care through a medical alert device, they can more readily request help. Choosing Alert1 is a cost-accessible option, especially when compared to average Life Alert® costs.

If your loved one is at an increased risk for experiencing a heart attack – whether she smokes, is menopausal, has diabetes, or has a genetic predisposition – investing in a medical alert device can dramatically improve her chances of surviving a cardiac event. Even when the symptoms are difficult to pinpoint, help is available with the push of a button.