Pay attention to top 5 heart attack symptoms in women

DENVER -- For Heart Month doctors are sharing the top five heart attack symptoms in women. The typical symptom is pain in the chest that can radiate down the left arm, but many women don’t experience that.

Instead they may feel the following:

  1. Unusual fatigue
  2. Indigestion or heartburn
  3. Pain in the neck or jaw
  4. Nausea and vomiting
  5. Shortness of breath

“For women, we for some reason present differently,” said Dr. Reynaria Pitts, a cardiologist at North Suburban Medical Center.

Jennifer Rivera is one of her patients. The 37-year-old mother of three from Westminster had no idea she was having a heart attack when her symptoms first started. “Went on a hike and ended up having some right shoulder pain later on in the day, and thought it was because I had carried the backpack,” Rivera said.

The next day she had pizza and vomited. “My husband and I both thought it was possibly indigestion,” Rivera said.

But by the next night she had chest pain and went to the hospital where she was told she was having a heart attack. “It was just very concerning knowing that I had three young kids, and I was having a heart attack at 37 years old,” she said.

Doctors know that many symptoms can be confused for something else, but say it’s important to seek help if you are concerned. “The later that you come to the hospital the more complications we may see, the more damage we may see with the heart muscle,” Dr. Pitts said.