Signs of heart attack and stroke

Being able to recognize the signs of heart attack and stroke could save your life. Every minute counts during the onset of a heart attack or stroke—the faster you receive medical treatment, the more likely you are to survive and the better your chances of a more complete recovery.

Women often experience the same symptoms as men do, but women and men don’t respond to a heart attack in the same ways and women often describe their symptoms differently than men. Women are less likely to believe they’re having a heart attack, and they are more likely to put off seeking treatment.

Signs of Heart Attack

  • Chest discomfort (uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness

Although symptoms are generally the same for men and women, women can sometimes experience symptoms that are less definite, such as chest discomfort rather than pain.

For women, chest pain may not be the first sign of heart trouble. Women have reported experiencing unusual tiredness, trouble sleeping, problems breathing, indigestion, and anxiety up to a month or so before the heart attack.

Signs of Stroke

Signs of Stroke

If you or someone with you experiences any of these signs, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately. Acting quickly can improve your survival and recovery. Act FAST because the quicker you act, the more of the person you save.


If you experience ANY of the warning signs of heart attack or stroke, seek medical attention immediately! Call 9-1-1 or the emergency response number in your area. The faster you act, the better your chances of survival and recovery.