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  • Janette O'toole

Knowing the symptoms of heart attack may help save your life or help save the life of another.

Today is World Heart Day! Symptoms of heart attack in women can be different to men. They may include pain and pressure in the chest (but not always), neck, arm, jaw pain, shortness of breath, dizziness and a cold sweat.

Symptoms of heart attack

Common symptoms of heart attack include feelings of:

· pain

· pressure

· tightness

· heaviness

This may be felt in the:

· chest

· neck

· jaw

· arm/s

· back

· shoulder/s

You may also feel:

· short of breath

· nauseous (sick)

· a cold sweat

· dizzy

If you experience one or more these symptoms, if they progressively worsen for 10 minutes or more, tell someone how you are feeling.

If you are by yourself, call 000 without delay.

Women don't always feel pain in the centre of the chest when having a heart attack. In a large study, 42% of women who had a heart attack, did not feel any chest pain. Instead women may feel breathless, and have nausea, back pain, tightness or discomfort in the arms and a general feeling of being unwell.

Women often wait too long to seek help because they think they are not at risk. A woman will call for help for someone else faster than she will get help for herself. In Australia, more women die from heart attacks than men and often the cause is because they don't seek help fast enough.


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