Mercy Cardiologist Dr. Mark Goldstein Discusses Symptoms of Heart Attack

February 6, 2017
The Heart Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

The risk of a heart problem increases significantly with age. By age 65, one in three women will have heart-related symptoms. But do you know what they are?

“I started not feeling good and getting very weak, like I could barely make it up the steps,” patient Elizabeth Miller said.

That was 25 years ago, but Miller remembers it well. She saw a doctor immediately, a decision that turned out to be a very smart move. It turned out she had a blockage in her heart and ended up having double bypass surgery. 

According to Mercy cardiologist Dr. Mark Goldstein, Her cardiologist, Mercy Medical Center’s Dr. Mark Goldstein, women's heart attack symptoms differ from men's.

“More commonly (they) may present without chest pain,” Dr. Goldstein said. “And that can delay their presentation to the hospital and delay diagnosis. Other symptoms of heart attacks in women: shortness of breath, weakness or extreme fatigue.”

Recognizing the signs of a heart attack and getting treatment quickly makes all the difference.

“The longer you wait the more heart muscle damage is done and that can affect your long-term outcome in terms of heart function,” Dr. Goldstein said.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women and men. Risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, being overweight and family history. But the greatest risk factor is smoking.

Experts say that half of all women who have a heart attack are smokers.

“Smoking as little as one or two cigarettes a day can increase our risk,” Dr. Goldstein said. “The good news is, if we stop our risk can decline and improve rapidly.”

Miller, who explains she has never smoked, pays close attention to her diet and takes time for exercise. 

View Mercy cardiologist Dr. Mark Goldstein’s interview regarding heart attack symptoms in women.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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