Things You Should Know

What are the symptoms of heart disease in women?

  • While some women have no symptoms, others experience angina (dull, heavy to sharp chest pain or discomfort), pain in the neck/jaw/throat or pain in the upper abdomen or back. 

    These may occur during rest, physical activity, or even be triggered by mental stress.
  • However, sometimes heart disease may be silent and not diagnosed until a woman experiences signs or symptoms of a heart attack, heart failure, an arrhythmia or stroke.

Why are heart disease symptoms in women usually more subtle?

  • The symptoms women experience are often more subtle than the obvious chest pain often associated with heart attacks.
  • This may be because women tend to have blockages not only in their main arteries, but also in the smaller arteries that supply blood to the heart.
  • Unfortunately, women’s heart attack signs, may go unnoticed at first, causing lost time and more heart damage.
  • If you experience these symptoms or think you're having a heart attack, call for emergency medical help immediately. Don't drive yourself to the emergency room.

Signs and Symptoms for Women

Heart Attack
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Upper back pain
  • Indigestion o Heartburn
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Upper body discomfort
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Fluttering feelings in the chest (palpitations)
Heart Failure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of the feet/ankles/legs/abdomen
  • Sudden Weakness
  • Paralysis (inability to move)
  • Numbness of the face/arms/legs, especially on one side of the body

Other symptoms may include: confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech, difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, shortness of breath, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, loss of consciousness, or a sudden and severe headache.


Make an appointment with one of our female cardiologists.

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Dr. Jennifer Rodriguez

Meridian, MS
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Dr. Arti Singh

Crowley & Lafayette, LA
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Dr. Charisse Ward

Baton Rouge, LA
All of our CIS physicians are committed to women’s cardiovascular health. Click here for a full list of our physicians.