What Do You Do If You Have A Heart Attack
If you have any of the listed symptoms:
- tell someone and ask them to get help right away
The faster you get help, the better your chances of surviving a heart attack. Half of heart attack deaths happen within 2 hours of the first signs.
On average, Canadians wait almost 5 hours before getting medical help. Many people find it hard to believe that they are having a heart attack. They convince themselves that the symptoms are something else and that they will go away.
Not getting help for your symptoms could lead to death. New therapies and drugs can reduce damage and save your life if treatment begins soon enough. Your health care provider will work with you to determine treatment and recovery needs.
If you have suffered a heart attack, having important health information close by can help medical staff treat you. Carry personal health information with you at all times and have it posted by your phone. You may not be able to tell medical staff this information yourself, depending on your condition.
Your list should include:
- telephone and health care number
- medical history
- current medications
- health care provider
- health insurance number for expenses that are not covered under provincial health insurance plans, such as:
- ambulance services
Symptoms Vary Between Men And Women
As with men, womens most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Dont Hesitate To Call 911
Learn the signs for heart attack, and remember: Even if youre not sure its a heart attack, have it checked out.
Minutes matter. Fast action can save lives – maybe your own.
if you experience heart attack warning signs. Calling 911 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment.
An emergency medical services team can begin treatment when they arrive up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too.
For many reasons, its best to call 911 so that an experienced EMS team can begin treatment and arrange rapid transport to the emergency room.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Women’s Heart Disease
While several traditional risk factors for heart disease can affect both women and men, other factors may play a greater role in the onset of heart disease in women. These can include:
- Some other risk factors which cannot be controlled include menopause, pregnancy complications like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes , age, and family history.
A family history of heart disease does increase your risk of illness and death, but researchers at the Institute have made an exciting discovery which could reduce the rate of heart attacks in women and transform the treatment of heart and vascular disease for females.
The Institutes Executive Director, Professor Jason Kovacic, was at the centre of the new sex-specific research which compared the genetic changes of men and women at risk of a heart attack, allowing for a better understanding of Australias biggest killer.
Signs of poor heart health are not always obvious, which is why it’s important to regularly monitor things like your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and glucose. It is also important to encourage the women close to you to have regular check-ups to reduce the risk of heart disease or heart attack.
Go After Heart Health With All Your Heart
Since heart disease is the No. 1 cause of premature death among Canadian women, heart health should be at the top of everyones mind. Hopefully some of the tips and symptoms weve provided can help put your mind at ease, help you be more proactive about your heart health, and encourage you to get medical help as soon as you feel you need it.
At Manulife, weve put our hearts into womens heart health, as a founding partner of Heart & Strokes Womens Initiative, which raises awareness and donations for equitable heart research. Since the beginning of our partnership in 2019, weve helped Heart & Stroke raise over $5 million for this important cause. We hope you put all of your heart into your heart health, too!
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How Can I Prevent Heart Attack
For women, increasing awareness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are essential to promoting heart health and preventing heart attacks. Strategies include the following:
- Incorporate exercise into your routine. Shoot for 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day.
- Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight.
- Quit smoking.
- Manage stress through therapy, yoga, meditation, and other practices.
- Stay on top of chronic conditions, including diabetes.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Schedule routine checkups with your primary care provider. Regular blood work can detect early warning signs of heart disease. Seeing your primary care provider regularly can help you focus on wellness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
At Comprehensive Primary Care, promoting heart health for all of our patients is an ongoing priority. We understand that support and awareness are vital, especially for women. So often, we focus on others and put our health needs last. At CPC, we focus on prevention and wellness, including support in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and medical weight loss programs as needed. One of our best prevention tools is helping our patients manage chronic conditions. The first step is scheduling that checkup to establish a heart health baseline and get you on the path to overall wellness.
What Should I Do If I Have Heart Attack Symptoms
If you think you, or someone else, may be having a heart attack, call 911 right away. Do not drive yourself to the hospital, and do not let a friend drive you. You may need medical help on the way to the hospital. Ambulance workers are trained to treat you on the way to the emergency room.
Getting to the hospital quickly is important. Treatments for opening clogged arteries work best within the first hour after a heart attack starts.
If you think you’re having a heart attack, get emergency help right away. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are overreacting or to wait and see. Get tips on how best to describe your symptoms and how to ask for tests that can show whether you’re having a heart attack.
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A Pinched Nerve In Your Neck
You may also feel pain, numbness, or weakness in your arm, depending on what’s causing the pinched nerve and how severe it is.
One possible cause is age-related wear and tear, called cervical spondylosis, when disks in your vertebrae thin and weaken. To compensate, your body can grow bone spurs to support the weakened disks. The downside, though, is that spurs can compress nerves, causing pain or tingling in your arm.
A herniated disk can also cause a pinched nerve. When the hard outer layer of a spinal disk weakens and cracks, whether due to aging or injury, the gel-like substance inside the disk can leak out and put pressure on your spinal nerves, causing tingling in your arm.
Keep in mind a pinched nerve in your neck won’t always cause pain in your neck tingling in your arm may be the only symptom.
If the tingling doesn’t improve, a good next step involves checking in with your doctor. You’ll also want to call your doctor if you notice any weakness in your hands, fingers, or arm.
Your doctor might recommend:
Heart Attack Symptoms In Women
If you have any of these signs, call 911 and get to a hospital right away.
What Are The Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack In Women
Heart disease is the number one cause of death among women in the United States, with one out of every three women dying from heart disease. The signs and symptoms of heart disease in women are different than those in men.
6 Common heart attack signs and symptoms in women include:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Chest pain is described as a squeezing or feeling of fullness in the chest or an extremely uncomfortable sensation.
What To Do If You Notice Heart Attack Symptoms
If you do suspect you might have heart attack symptoms and some do appear weeks or months before a heart attack dont discount them out of hand or let them linger for too long. Women often think its something else, says Dr. Cho. The sad thing is, women do tend to have more blockages in their heart when they do need to have something done.
In fact, women tend to get heart disease later than men do. Men get in their 50s and 60s, and women get it in their 60s and 70s, says Dr. Cho. Women always get it 10 years later because of the effect of estrogen.The sooner you report a problem, the better chance you have of catching an issue before it becomes a full-blown heart attack. If you experience any of these symptoms, take note and visit your doctor as quickly as possible. Its very important that you not become your own doctor but let somebody else be your doctor, Dr. Cho says.
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Heart Attack Treatment For Women
The treatment for heart attack in women is the same as it is for men.
A recent study in the United Kingdom showed that women having a heart attack were 50% more likely than men to be misdiagnosed, leading to a delay in treatment and poorer outcomes. However there is no evidence to show that the same is true for New Zealand women.
What Does A Mini Heart Attack Feel Like
You must have often heard people saying something about a mini heart attack or mild heart attack. There is no such term as a mini heart attack in the medical dictionary, but it can be compared to a mild heart attack or a silent heart attack.
Mini or mild heart attack
- A partial block in your coronary artery that causes mild signs and symptoms of heart attack is called a mild heart attack.
- If your doctor tells you that you have had a mild heart attack, it probably means your heart is not damaged much and is working properly.
Silent heart attack
- A doctor discovers that you had a silent heart attack when he routinely examines you and orders an electrocardiogram.
- This heart attack might have occurred silently over months or years before without you even knowing.
- A silent heart attack does not exhibit chest pain and shortness of breath the typical signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
- Women are more likely to have a silent heart attack as per an analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
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What Are The Common Symptoms Of A Heart Attack In Women
Here are the key symptoms for women:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Jaw or neck pain
- A general sense of discomfort
Many of these symptoms are not typically associated with heart attacks, so if youre not aware of them, it can be easy for them to go unnoticed or at least not consider them heart attack symptoms when youre experiencing them. Many of these symptoms also occur while women are resting or sleeping. So its important to be aware of the symptoms and talk to your doctor about whether or not they could be associated with your heart health.
Why are womens heart attack symptoms different?
Just as for men, the most common symptom of a heart attack for women is pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. But many women dont experience chest pain at all during a heart attack: 42% dont. So while its still important for women to look out for that, its equally important to know that many of the symptoms of a heart attack for women are actually different from those for men. In fact, it may be surprising to know that women dont even need to have blocked arteries for a heart attack to occur, so its understandable that the symptoms may be different.
Heart Attacks Striking Younger Women
Younger women are having more heart attacks, says a recent study.Researchers were surprised to find that while the heart attack rate hasdecreased among older adults, it’s risen among those ages 35-54, especiallywomen. TheAtherosclerosis Risk in Communities studyreviewed more than 28,000 hospitalizations for heart attacks in fourcities.
“This observational study found a trend in young women,” saysVirginia Colliver, M.D., cardiologist withJohns Hopkins Community Physicians-Heart Carein Bethesda, Maryland. “But the research doesn’t provide insight into whythe uptick in heart attacks is happening to younger people. I suspect ithas to do with more people having risk factors for heart disease at anearlier age.”
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What Is A Silent Heart Attack
A silent heart attack is a heart attack that does not cause obvious symptoms. Your doctor may discover a silent heart attack days, weeks, or months later on an electrocardiogram test used to diagnose a heart problem.
Silent heart attack:
- Is more common in women than in men
- Can happen to women younger than 65. Younger women who have silent heart attacks without chest pain are more likely to die compared to younger men who have silent heart attacks without chest pain.2
- Is more likely to happen in women with diabetes. Diabetes can change how you sense pain, making you less likely to notice heart attack symptoms.3
How Men And Women Experience Heart Attack
Women and men can experience the signs and symptoms of a heart attack differently.
Men may experience:
- shortness of breath
Although chest pain is thought to be the most common symptom of heart attack and it is common in men only about half of all women who have a heart attack actually report chest pain.
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How Is Heart Disease Treated In Women
Similar action is taken to treat heart disease in both men and women. Depending on the diagnosis, treatments can include medications, angioplasty, stenting, coronary bypass surgery or cardiac rehabilitation. Your doctor may also recommend a change in lifestyle to delay the onset of heart disease.
The most recent research shows that women are often being under-treated when it comes to heart disease, with women who suffer a heart attack half as likely to receive proper treatments and twice as likely to die as men.
This highlights the need for women to be aware of their risk factors, as well as symptoms of heart disease, and learn what can be done to treat heart disease.
Understand Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women and men. But both heart attacks and heart disease can appear differently in women than in men. This disparity means that women are more likely to have undiagnosed heart conditions, and they may not even know when theyre at risk for heart attack.
If youre a woman, its important to educate yourself about your heart health. Risk factors that increase your chances of heart disease and heart attack include:
Heart disease is common, but its preventable in many cases. Our team is dedicated to helping you strengthen your heart and live your healthiest life.
We partner with you, evaluating your medical history, family history, and current condition to propose a heart-healthy plan thats right for you. Managing pre-existing conditions and making a range of healthy lifestyle choices can make a big difference for your heart and help reduce your risk of heart attack.
Trust your heart health to our team at NJ Cardiovascular Institute. To learn more about the risks of heart disease and how to spot a heart attack, book an appointment at one of our offices in Newark, Secaucus, or Paramus, New Jersey. Use the online scheduler or give us a call.
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