Common Symptoms of Heart Attacks
- Uncomfortable pressure
- Fullness or excruciating pain in the chest radiating to the neck, jaw, shoulders or arms
- Shortness of breath
As with men, the most common heart attack symptom for women is chest pain or discomfort. But women tend to be more likely than men to have other symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Common Symptoms of Stroke
The symptoms of a stroke are distinct because they happen quickly:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you think you may have cardiovascular disease based on new symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor.
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a "warning stroke" or "mini-stroke" that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce your risk of a major stroke. The usual TIA symptoms are the same as those of stroke, only temporary.
It's important to watch for cardiovascular symptoms and discuss any concerns with your doctor. Cardiovascular disease can sometimes be found early with regular visits to your doctor. Don't "tough out" the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. Call 911 or other emergency medical services for help.
Visit the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association websites for more heart attack and stroke warning signs.