According to a study published in the prestigious medical journal Circulation, the most common symptom of heart disease in women is not chest pain.


It is long known that heart disease in women manifest with different symptoms than in men. This often leads to misdiagnoses such as stress, panic disorder or even hypochondriasis. Women are also more likely to have false results on stress tests which contribute to the wrong diagnosis.


The table below shows percent break-down of symptoms experienced by women before and during a heart attack.


3 months before a heart attack

During a heart attack

Fatigue (71%)

Breathlessness (57%)

Sleep problems (47%)

Weakness (54%)

Breathlessness (42%)

Fatigue (42%)

Indigestion (39%)

Cold sweats (39%)

Anxiety (35%)

Back pain (37%)

Chest pain (30%)

Typical chest pain (27%)




Circulation. 2003; vol 108, pp: 2619-23

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