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Women's symptoms can differ from men's

[JAN. 11, 2007]  SPRINGFIELD -- The information below is provided by the Illinois Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program.

Warning signs

Heart attack

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back

  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach

  • Shortness of breath along with, or before, chest discomfort

  • Cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

For women

As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea-vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

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  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms or if you see someone else experiencing these warning signs. Treatment is more effective if given quickly. Every minute counts!

[Illinois Department of Public Health]


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