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Are symptoms of heart disease different for men and women?

Though sometimes called the "silent killer" due to the fact that symptoms are difficult to recognize, cardiovascular disease (CVD) can be discovered if certain signs do begin to appear. Though there are different condition-specific signs for each form of CVD, many share the same symptoms. The most common are chest pain, palpitations (a fluttering sensation in the chest), shortness of breath, dizziness and general discomfort in other areas of the body.

Most diseases display identical symptoms regardless of gender - but in the case of CVD, men and women can have entirely different experiences. Men suffering from CVD most often complain of chest pains, which is a common precursor to a myocardial infarction (heart attack). Women, on the other hand, are more likely to experience other symptoms, like shortness of breath, back pain, nausea or jaw pain.

Regardless of your gender, you should immediately seek medical help if you experience any of the symptoms for CVD/heart disease. Many people delay in getting help because they are unsure of what they are experiencing. Unfortunately, if it is a true emergency, long-term survival chances can decrease with every minute that passes without medical attention.