(NEWS CENTER) - Comedian Rose O'Donnell announced this week that she had suffered a heart attack last week.
She says she had initially dismissed it, taking aspirin for the pain but not heading to the hospital.
O'Donnell says her doctors told her she suffered a "widow maker" heart attack - a 99% blockage of the left descending artery that feeds the heart.
She has had a stent put in.
According to one study, two thirds of women don't recognize the symptoms of heart attacks. And the symptoms can differ between men and women.
Dr. Craig Brett is the Chief of Cardiology at Mercy Hospital in Portland. He says typical symptoms for men are pain, pressure and/or tightness in the chest which radiates to the neck or arm.
It's often accompanied by nausea or shortness of breath. And the symptoms will worsen with physical activity.
Symptoms for women are similar, but Dr. Brett says women are more likely to exhibit atypical or secondary symptoms like nausea, weakness and exhaustion.
Dr. Brett says that if you have cardiac risk factors and you have symptoms you can't explain, you should go to the hospital.
Brett says he understands that there can be embarrassment that it might be a false alarm, but that's what hospitals are there for.
He says there's a perception that heart attacks are more common in men, while they actually remain one of the leading causes of death in women.