Early Heart Attack Symptoms for Women

Updated February 21, 2017

According to studies, heart attacks have killed more women than men every year. Heart attacks are sometimes caused by a build-up of plaque in the coronary arteries. The plaque will then obstruct blood from being transported to the heart, causing the heart to become weakened, therefore leading to a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms in women may be different from the symptoms that men experience. Detecting early heart attack symptoms may prevent further damage to the heart and can save your life.


Some of the most common symptoms of a heart attack in women is indigestion or heartburn. These symptoms can easily be mistaken for other heartburn-related issues.


Experiencing nausea can be an early sign of a heart attack for women. You may feel as if you want to vomit without knowing the reason why. The stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system is the cause of nausea that is experienced before an heart attack.


Unexplained fatigue is another early heart attack symptom in women. A survey of women who survived a heart attack indicated that 70 per cent of them experienced extreme fatigue weeks before having a heart attack.

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath is a possible sign of a heart attack. Shortness of breath may be experienced right before the heart attack occurs. Some women experience difficulties breathing or occasionally had to gasp for air.

Pain between shoulder blades

Heart attack survivors have reported experiencing pain between the shoulders as an early heart attack symptom. This can be caused by other factors, but should not be ignored.

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About the Author

Jennifer Patterson started her writing career as a freelance writer in 2008, contributing how-to articles and other pieces to various websites. She is an expert in the field of computers and health care and attended Miami-Dade community college, where she received an Associate of Science in computer science.