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Heart Attack Symptoms Vary For Men And Women: Here’s How


Heart Attack Symptoms Vary For Men And Women: Here’s How


Medically Reviewed By
Dr Divya Rohra

Written By Meenakshi
on Feb 27, 2024

Last Edit Made By Meenakshi
on Mar 21, 2024

Heart Attack Symptoms

If we believe the stats, four out of five CVD deaths happen due to heart attacks. A Heart Attack is a medical condition that occurs when blood flow to a part of the heart is severely reduced or stopped, preventing heart muscles from obtaining oxygen and leading to tissue damage or death. Timely action and immediate medical assistance can potentially save lives. However, you must first know the early signs indicating a heart attack. And when it comes to heart attack symptoms, they vary across genders. Yes, as per recent studies, it is found that heart attack symptoms may differ in men and women. Understanding this distinction could be critical in seeking medical assistance and saving lives. So, what are you waiting for? Here's a breakdown of how heart attack symptoms vary among men and women. So, let's dig in to find out.

Does heart attack affect men and women differently?

Yes, not just heart attacks; heart diseases affect men and women differently, but why? Let's understand it from the points mentioned below.

  • Due to differences in heart and blood vessel size: Yes, men and women have different heart and blood vessel sizes, leading to different progress in heart disease in women compared to men.
  • Due to cholesterol buildup in different areas: The cholesterol plaque buildup inside the walls of arteries can influence the blood vessels, leading to heart attack. Men develop this plaque buildup in the largest arteries, and women are more likely to form this plaque in the heart's smallest blood vessels.
  • Due to a disease that mimics a heart attack: According to studies, women are more likely to experience a disease, like a coronary spasm, a coronary dissection, broken heart syndrome, and more, that mimic a heart attack.
  • Due to different risk factors: The reproductive history and certain pregnancy conditions can increase women's likelihood of developing a heart attack than men.
  • Due to hormonal differences: Women experience hormonal changes throughout their lives, which can influence their cardiovascular health, increasing their likelihood of experiencing a heart attack than men.
  • Due to differences in age of onset: Some studies suggest women generally develop heart disease later in life compared to men.
  • Due to differences in treatment response: Moreover, as per the studies, men and women respond to the treatment for heart disease differently, which can affect their outcomes.

Several other factors state that heart attack differs in men and women. Considering these differences, it's crucial to recognize the early signs to minimize the impact and save potential lives.

Heart Attack Symptoms Difference In Men And Women:

  • Chest Pain Or Discomfort: Pain in the chest or discomfort is one of the classic symptoms of a heart attack. This sensation may feel like pressure, tightness, or squeezing in the chest area, lasting for several minutes. Women may also experience the same; however, the severity may be greater in men than women.
  • Shortness Of Breath: Another common symptom that may vary among men & women is shortness of breath, as women are more likely to experience it, sometimes without any chest discomfort. This breathlessness may occur during everyday activities or even during resting hours.
  • Nausea, Vomiting, or Indigestion: Some people may also complain of nausea, vomiting, or dizziness, which can be mistaken as gastrointestinal symptoms or other digestive issues. While men can also experience the same, it is more common in men.
  • Fatigue: It is another common sign that women are more likely to experience than men. They may complain of extreme fatigue, weakness, or lightheaded feeling. Sometimes, this fatigue may be persistent and not relieved by rest.
  • Sweating or Clamminess: Profuse sweating or clamminess, often described as cold sweats, can occur during a heart attack in women, similar to men. However, women may not always associate this symptom with a heart problem.
  • Unusual Symptoms: Women may present with symptoms that are less typical of a heart attack, such as sudden onset of anxiety, palpitations, or flu-like symptoms.

While the pattern may be the same, its severity and occurrence can vary widely among people of any gender. Additionally, women are more likely to experience a silent heart attack, which means they exhibit no symptoms at all.

Early Diagnosis Can Save Lives

While the diagnosis may be different for any reason, it is critical to understand that it still can save you from the worst and can potentially save your life. Therefore, routine heart screening is essential to identify potential abnormalities growing within the heart to understand the risk of heart attack and take charge of the condition promptly.

Tests Doctors May Suggest To Diagnose A Heart Attack Are:

  • Troponin Test: It is a highly sensitive and specific test, allowing early detection of even minor heart attacks or unstable angina. Further classified into Troponin I or Troponin T Test, both are cardiac biomarkers that aid in diagnosing heart attacks. When a person experiences a heart attack, the body releases Troponin into the blood. The Troponin I Test measures Troponin I levels, and the Troponin T Test measures Troponin T levels, and elevation in either of the markers indicates cardiac muscle injury, as seen in heart attack, which further helps doctors suggest appropriate tests to confirm the diagnosis and facilitate timely intervention.
  • Creatinine Kinase (CK-MB) Test: Another common test doctors may suggest to detect a heart attack is the Creatinine Kinase (CK-MB) Test. The test detects and monitors heart muscle damage during a heart attack. The elevated levels usually indicate the occurrence of a heart attack. Besides helping with the diagnosis, the test may also provide a comprehensive evaluation of the extent and progression of myocardial damage, guiding treatment decisions and predicting patient outcomes.
  • Creatine Phosphokinase (CPK) Test: The Creatine Kinase (CK) test is another common blood test that detects damage to the heart muscles. During a heart attack, heart muscle cells become injured due to decreased blood flow to the heart. As a result, CPK is released in the blood. Elevated CPK is usually an indication of heart muscle injury or a heart attack. However, it alone cannot confirm a heart attack, and the doctor may interpret the test results considering patients' clinical presentations and diagnostic findings.

Apart from that, several other tests may be suggested depending on your health condition. Getting tested in time is critical to confirm the diagnosis and take immediate action, potentially saving lives.

Also Read: If you want to learn more about Heart Attack And Its Prevention, give this blog a quick read here: https://redcliffelabs.com/myhealth/heart/heart-attack-and-its-prevention/ 


In short, the symptoms of heart attack can vary from one person to the next. Some people may experience the symptoms instantly, while in others, there may be signs in the days leading up to it, and some may even have no symptoms and may experience a silent heart attack. While chest pain or discomfort symptoms are common among men and women, women are more likely to have other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and jaw pains, which are less so in men. Doctors may suggest different tests, and getting tested in time is critical to confirm the heart attack and take charge while there is still time.

Reach Redcliffe Labs For Heart Test:

Redcliffe Labs is the best diagnostic service provider, where you can book different heart tests at highly affordable rates. You can book routine heart screening and specific heart tests with us to get tested comfortably from home. So, delay no more and book a test with us today.

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