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Women may miss subtle heart attack warning symptoms

Women May Miss Subtle Heart Attack Warning Symptoms

September 05, 2020

As a woman, I want to know if heart attack symptoms differ from those of men

“Heart attacks rarely occur as portrayed on TV and the movies, where actors clutch their chests and dramatically collapse to the floor.”

Dr. Puttappa says that women have a tendency not to recognize the warning symptoms and delay seeking treatment. She warns that heart-attack symptoms for women tend to be more subtle, such as having shortness of breath, abdominal discomfort or nausea, or a heaviness between shoulder blades.

“Many women still believe that heart attacks are for men only. They are often surprised to learn that heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women,” she adds.

She stresses the importance that women, as well as men, see their doctor regularly and have their blood pressure, pulse and cholesterol levels checked.

“Be sure to ask about the need for making lifestyle modifications, such as losing weight, exercising more, reducing salt intake and quitting tobacco usage,” she adds.

"If you’re unsure about symptoms you may be having, please get examined by your primary care physician or cardiologist without delay,” concludes Dr. Puttappa, who cares for patients at three Kelsey-Seybold Clinic locations: The Vintage, St. Luke’s Medical Tower and Spring Medical and Diagnostic Center.

Headshot of Rupa Puttappa, MD

About the Author

Dr. Rupa Puttappa is a cardiologist and sees patients at Kelsey-Seybold's Main Campus, Summer Creek Clinic in Humble, The Woodlands Clinic, and Spring Medical and Diagnostic Center

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