Pre-heart attack symptoms female and male | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Early Heart Attack Care

Heart attacks have a beginning. These signs, sometimes called “pre-heart attack symptoms,” can appear days or weeks ahead of the actual heart attack. While there are common signs regardless of gender, there may be some unique symptoms that tend to affect women more than men.

Early signs and symptoms of a heart attack may occur in 50% of patients. Recognizing the beginning of a heart attack means treatment can begin before any damage.

Someone might have one or more of these common symptoms. When they start, they can be mild or come and go. Over time, the symptoms and pain become more intense. Stay alert and always pay attention to chest pressure.

  • Back pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pressure, squeezing, aching or burning
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Jaw pain
  • Excessive fatigue or weakness
  • Anxiety

Some symptoms aren’t typical, but should be taken seriously

  • A sharp or “knife-like” pain that occurs with coughing or breathing
  • Pain that spreads above the jawbone or into the lower body
  • Difficult or labored breathing

Pre-Heart Attack Symptoms – Female

Because women can have unique heart attack symptoms, they may be less likely to seek immediate medical care that could prevent heart damage.

  • Men may feel pain and numbness in the left arm or the side of the chest. In women, these symptoms may appear on the right side.
  • Women may experience unexplained exhaustion, or feel drained, dizzy or nauseous.
  • Women may feel upper back pain that travels up into their jaw.
  • Women may think their stomach pain is the flu, heartburn or an ulcer.

Can You Save a Life?

Take the free course and earn your certificate.

Learn Early Heart Attack Care

  • Early Heart Attack Care (or EHAC) education teaches you to recognize the early signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
  • As an active bystander so you can save a life — even if it’s yours.

Prevent a Heart Attack

  • Learn the risk factors.
  • Understand how gender can affect symptoms.
  • Is it a heart attack? Learn the atypical symptoms.

Save a Life

  • If someone collapses, call 911!
  • Perform hands-only CPR.
  • Find and deploy an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Find American College of Cardiology Accredited Facilities in the Louisville Area

  • Norton Audubon Hospital
  • Norton Brownsboro Hospital
  • Norton Hospital
  • Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital
  • More

Heart Attack Risk Factors

Understand conditions that may make some people more prone to heart attack.

Calculate your risk with the ASCVD Risk Calculator

Heart and Vascular Care for the Whole Person

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute offers patient resources to support you and your family, including free classes for people of all ages who are seeking to improve cardiovascular health or living with a heart condition.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Our cardiac rehabilitation providers are leaders in developing and applying innovative techniques that can help you recover and resume your life.

Connecting Hearts Support Group

The group provides education and support to individuals who have had a heart attack, are living with a heart condition or are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Heart Health Screenings

Prevention is the best way to manage heart disease, and screenings are available to detect early signs of cardiac and vascular disease and identify risk factors.

About Norton Heart & Vascular Institute

Norton Healthcare Heart and Vascular Institute

Every year, about 250,000 people in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Heart & Vascular Institute specialists for their heart and vascular care. That’s more than any other health care provider.

  • Norton Healthcare’s four adult-service hospitals in Louisville are American College of Cardiology accredited Cycle VI Chest Pain Centers — the highest level of expertise to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
  • You have access to more than 50 board-certified cardiovascular physicians and 35 advanced practice providers with specialized training and experience in a comprehensive range of conditions and treatments.
  • Patients can make appointments at 27 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Telecardiology is offered at more than 30 sites in the region.
  • Norton Audubon Hospital, a key location for Norton Heart & Vascular Institute services, has been recognized with a HeartCare Center National Distinction of Excellence year after year by the American College of Cardiology. This is the only hospital in Louisville to be recognized for this distinction.
  • Norton Healthcare is the only health care system in Kentucky to receive the prestigious Mission: Lifeline Regional Trailblazer Award from the American Heart Association for being an innovator in creating a system of care for the most severe type of heart attacks.
  • Communicate with your health care provider, renew prescriptions, get lab results and more through your free MyNortonChart account.
Heart & Vascular – 8300

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