Signs & Symptoms of Angina for Middle-Aged Women

Angina is a heart condition characterized by episodes of severe chest pain. The condition develops because the heart does not get enough blood. Angina is a sign of coronary artery disease and puts people at increased risk of suffering a heart attack. Women often experience the symptoms of angina differently than men, which can result in delays in seeking treatment and incorrect diagnosis.


The hallmark symptom of angina is episodes of severe chest pain. These episodes generally occur during times of physical exertion or emotional distress. In people with variant angina, however, the episodes occur when they are at rest, often while sleeping. The pain of an angina attack is often described as a crushing pain, but women often experience the pain differently. Women are more likely to feel a stabbing pain or sharp pressure. Women many also experience abdominal pain during an episode. In some cases, the pain can also radiate to the shoulders, jaw, arms, neck and back.


A feeling of nauseousness and sometimes even vomiting also frequently accompany an angina attack. In fact, women are more likely than men to experience nausea with angina.

Breathing Trouble

Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or a feeling of breathlessness are also sometimes experienced during an angina attack. Women are more likely to report these breathing difficulties than men.

Other Symptoms

Women with angina may also experience a feeling of lightheadedness or extreme sweating during an angina attack. It's also not unusual to feel dizzy or anxious during an episode.