When it comes to heart issues, timely diagnosis ensures patients receive proper treatment. Unfortunately, heart attacks symptoms in women are often misdiagnosed because they differ from those experienced by men. When diagnoses are mistaken or delayed, women face serious complications, including loss of life.
This highlights why doctors must screen female heart patients differently from men. Women should also know the common signs and symptoms of heart attacks, so they can seek immediate treatment when needed.
Pressure and tightness in the chest
Like men, women do experience chest discomfort during heart attacks. In women, this discomfort is often more subtle and easily overlooked. It can also cause a sensation of pressure or tightness in the chest. Additionally, heart attack symptoms in women occur more when they are at rest, whereas men experience them more when active.
Pain in other areas of the body
Another reason why doctors misdiagnose heart attacks in women is because they experience pain in other areas of the body more frequently. For example, a heart attack can cause pain in the shoulders, back, abdomen, jaw, and neck. It is easy to mistake this pain for a harmless muscle strain or sprain, especially when discomfort is mild to moderate in intensity.
Heartburn and indigestion are minor ailments that most people experience at some point in their lives. When this symptom occurs repeatedly in women, it helps to think about heart attack risk factors and whether they apply. For instance, smokers, people with diabetes, and those with a family history of heart disease have a higher chance of having a heart attack.
If you disagree with a doctor’s diagnosis or feel the matter was not resolved, seek another opinion. Medical professionals are prone to mistakes and oversights just like any other profession, so it is important for patients to advocate for their own health.