Symptoms of Heart Attack in Women vs. in Men

A health alert from the American Heart Association says heart attacks may be harder to detect in women than in men.
2:06 | 01/26/16

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Transcript for Symptoms of Heart Attack in Women vs. in Men
We got a health alert from the American heart association about the fact that heart attacks may be harder to detect in women than men. Our chief women's health correspondent Jen Ashton with the details. Good to have you here. We heard about heart disease in women before. What's different? This is the first statement that addresses the question, does sex matter when it comes to heart attacks and the answer, men versus women, an overwhelming yes. Those differences are outlined in the statement, differences in survival. Women are more likely to die after a heart attack than men are. Difference in the mechanism we think, why it happens. More likely to involve the small blood vessels in the heart and plaques that clog those arteries may behave differently in women and symptoms, very, very different in women That's what I wanted to ask about. They're more subtle. We talk about that Hollywood heart attack, clutching your chest. Chest pain is still the most common in men and in women, but in women there are a range of symptoms, they much more vague, much more subtle. Some of the big ones unusual fatigue, shortness of breath, even flu-like symptoms, nausea in addition to the classic ones like chest pain radiating to the shoulder, jaw or arm. Really are differences between men and women. What's the most important thing women to need to know? Really now it's about awareness and action. The awareness part, one in three women die of disease. Everyone thinks that's someone else. The good news is 80% of heart disease is preventible if we reduce those risk facts like obesity and smoking, even some ob/gyn like pre-eclampsia or polycystic ovarian syndrome and now the American heart association go red for women action campaign encouraging women schedule that well woman visit with your health care provider. Your doctor, today so you can understand your risk and how to reduce it. At the first sign of Simms. Call 911. Do not deny it. Do not dismiss it. Do not feel guilty. Get yourself to the emergency room and use the words I think I'm having a heart attack. Jen Ashton, thanks very much. You'll take questions throughout the morning. Tweet her @drjashton. Now to Michael.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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