Heart Attack Myths & Facts

  • MYTH: Insomnia and anxiety have nothing to do with heart attacks.

    FACT: Sleep disturbances and anxiety are commonly seen in women with heart attacks.

  • MYTH: All heart attacks involve chest pain.

    FACT: Many people do not experience chest pain, especially women. When women do experience chest pain, it may last longer and radiate to the back or neck instead of the arm, as is common in men.

  • MYTH: Heart attack symptoms for women are the same at every age..

    FACT: Younger women are more likely to have unusual symptoms like sleep disturbances. As women enter menopause in their 50s, their heart attack risk increases and symptoms like chest pain become more common.

  • MYTH: Fatigue is not a symptom of heart attack.

    FACT: Weakness and fatigue are common heart attack symptoms, especially for women.

  • MYTH: Women visit doctors more and are likely to seek help for heart-related symptoms.

    FACT: On average, women take longer to seek help for heart attack symptoms than men. In one study, more than 70 percent of women waited an hour, while only 30 percent of men waited that long. If you think are having a heart attack, don't wait. Call 9-1-1 right away.

  • MYTH: Being thin and fit means you won't have a heart attack.

    FACT: Being fit helps, but if you are fit and still have high LDL cholesterol, you are at increased risk for heart attack. Get your cholesterol checked regularly.

  • MYTH: You'll notice symptoms of heart problems long before having a heart attack.

    FACT: Half of men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.

  • MYTH: Heart attack chest pain is severe and starts suddenly.

    FACT: Heart attack pain in men tends to start slowly., beginning as mild chest pain that comes and goes with time.