Signs of a heart attack
For both women and men, the most common sign of a heart attack is pain or discomfort in the center of the chest. The pain or discomfort can be mild or strong. It can last more than a few minutes, or it can go away and come back.
Other common signs of a heart attack include:
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
- Shortness of breath (feeling like you can't get enough air). The shortness of breath often occurs before or along with the chest pain or discomfort.
- Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) or vomiting
- Feeling faint or woozy
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
Women are more likely than men to have these other common signs of a heart attack, particularly shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and pain in the back, neck, or jaw. Women are also more likely to have less common signs of a heart attack, including:
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling tired or weak
- Heart flutters
Sometimes the signs of a heart attack happen suddenly, but they can also develop slowly, over hours, days, and even weeks before a heart attack occurs.
The more heart attack signs that you have, the more likely it is that you are having a heart attack. Also, if you've already had a heart attack, know that your symptoms may not be the same for another one. Even if you're not sure you're having a heart attack, you should still have it checked out.