Chest pain is the leading of seven heart attack warning signs - but only in men. (Do you know the six other warning signs? Test yourself with my Heart Attack Health Quiz!)
Women often feel things going wrong in the chest, but: «It was not chest pain, really, I can't explain it.» This is a typical answer that emerged in twelve tape-recorded interviews with female patients after a heart attack at the University of Bristol. Background of this study is the fact that fewer women than men seek medical help before or after a heart attack.
It seems that the warning sign catalog must be re-written for women. The diffuse chest feelings in women are more difficult to interpret than the typical chest pain in men. The more important are the early warning signs that may show up weeks in advance, as described in a study with more than five hundred women of Arkansas. Women often report unusual fatigue, sleeplessness and shortness of breath one month before a heart attack. During the attack, short breath, weakness and fatigue are the most frequent symptoms; more than forty percent of women report no chest pain.
Related post: Women's hearts safe to beat faster
Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/seventh_avenue_suzette/355420772/