Pregnancy And Heart Attacks
Heart attacks are not common among pregnant women, but they are possible both during and soon after delivery. Normal changes to your body during pregnancy can raise your risk of a heart attack. Your age, lifestyle habits, and other health conditions, such as bleeding disorders, obesity, preeclampsia , and diabetes, can also raise your risk.
If you already have coronary artery disease, being pregnant can raise your risk of a heart attack. Coronary artery disease is a major cause of heart attacks during pregnancy. Ask your doctor whether it is safe for you to get pregnant and what steps you need to take to keep your heart healthy during your pregnancy.
Heart attacks caused by spontaneous coronary artery dissection , a coronary artery embolus, or a coronary artery spasm are more common in pregnant women than in people who are not pregnant.
If you have symptoms of a heart attack during your pregnancy, or at any time, . Your healthcare team will take steps to protect your baby during these tests. Your healthcare team will also make sure that any treatment you take for a heart attack is safe to use during pregnancy.
Watch one womans story about surviving a heart attack soon after delivery.
Common Symptoms In Men
Another common symptom of heart attack in men is pain or discomfort in one or more of the following areas:
Risk factors for heart attack can apply to both women and men. These include factors like family history, diet, and lack of physical activity.
According to researchers in a , women ages 18 to 55 have a higher rate of certain medical conditions that may increase their risk of a heart attack.
Some of these conditions include:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- mental health conditions
Certain risk factors that apply to both men and women may be experienced differently by women, such as:
- High blood pressure. High blood pressure may develop during pregnancy or as a side effect of birth control pills.
- High cholesterol. While estrogen can protect women against high cholesterol, levels of this hormone tend to drop after menopause.
- Smoking. Both men and women smoke, but its been reported that women are less likely to quit successfully.
Women also have a
What Are The Risk Factors For Heart Attack
Several health conditions, your lifestyle, and your age and family history can increase your risk for heart disease and heart attack. These are called risk factors. About half of all Americans have at least one of the three key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking.2
Some risk factors cannot be controlled, such as your age or family history. But you can take steps to lower your risk by changing the factors you can control.
Learn more about risk factors for heart disease and heart attack.
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Symptoms Of A Heart Attack In Women
Both women and men who have a heart attack often have chest pain. However, in addition to chest pain, women are more likely to have these symptoms:
- Pain in the shoulder, back, or arm
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms can happen together with chest pain or without any chest pain.
Many women may not recognize that these are symptoms of a heart attack. Women may not get emergency treatment right away if they downplay their symptoms and delay going to the hospital, or if the usual initial screening tests performed at the hospital may not detect an early or atypical heart attack. Because of this, women have a higher risk of serious health problems after a heart attack.
It is important to if you have these symptoms. Early treatment can limit damage to your heart and can save your life.
Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack All Women Should Know
Heart attacks are terrifying and with all of the processed foods were being fed, theyre also on the rise. A heart attack doesnt always start out with chest pain, and symptoms can differ from men to women.
In todays society CEOs and big companies rule everything on the planet including our food. Thus, they are always trying to save a dollar or two, and its always at the expense of your health, my health, and our kids health. Because of this, heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases are on the rise. In fact, heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. Although heart attacks are more common in men, women, of course, have them too and they even have different symptoms.
Cardiovascular disease and stroke are responsible for 1 of every 3 womens deaths. Each year cardiovascular disease kills an estimated 44 million women in the United States thats one woman having a heart attack every 80 seconds.
One of the most associated symptoms with a heart attack is chest pain. It is typically described as a squeezing and pulling pain inside the chest cavity. This is commonly followed by the numbness and tingling in one or both of your arms. Many people even think they had the flu when their heart issues arisen.
Other Symptoms Typically Associated with Female Heart Attacks
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What Women Need To Know About Heart Attack Symptoms
Some heart attack symptoms are obvious. Everyone knows what it means when someone clutches his/her chest and drops to the floor.
But the symptoms of heart attacks are wide-ranging, and some are less apparent than others. This is particularly true for women. Heart attack symptoms vary between the sexes, and women are more likely to experience symptom clusters multiple heart attack symptoms that happen at the same time.
And womens heart attacks tend to be more serious than mens. According to the Womens Heart Foundation, 42 percent of women who have heart attacks die within one year, compared to 24 percent of men.
Its vital that women be able to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack so they can seek care immediately and reduce lasting heart damage. Take a moment to review this list of womens heart attack symptoms, as well as other risk factors of which women need to be cognizant.
Know The First 5 Symptoms Of A Heart Attack In Women
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death among women in Brazil, according to the Ministry of Health. The World Health Organization states that women are 50% more likely to die of a heart attack than men. In addition, cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 1/3 of all deaths in women worldwide. In Brazil, it is estimated that each year heart disease is responsible for more than 300,000 deaths.
in the scientific journal Circulation published a research in which scientists from the University of Arkansas, in the United States, conducted a study whose main objective is to discover the most common symptoms of a heart attack in women. Since men and women can show different signs.
In the study, the University of Arkansas team interviewed 515 women from different locations who had suffered a heart attack. They were monitored by scientists for four to six months after discharge. Of the 515 women, the team found that 95% of them felt the symptoms before they had the heart attack. Scientists emphasize that the list is important for early diagnosis.
Symptoms of cardiovascular disease vary by gender
During the study the women also reported to the researchers some symptoms that occurred during the heart attack. Shortness of breath is the most common symptom, with 58% of women experiencing it. Already 55% reported feeling weak, 43% unusual fatigue and 39% cold sweat. Dizziness was also felt by 39% of women participating in the study.
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Heart Attack And Women
A heart attack happens when blood flow in an artery to the heart is blocked by a blood clot or plaque, and the heart muscle begins to die. Women are more likely than men to die after a heart attack. But if you get help quickly, treatment can save your life and prevent permanent damage to your heart.
An Inability To Do What You Were Able To Do Before
Defining this symptom can be somewhat difficult because its less a universal heart attack sign and more dependent on your individual experiences and baseline energy levels.
Its a significant change in your functional status, is how I would put it, says Dr. Cho. You were able to be on the treadmill 20 minutes, but now you can barely do 10 because you just feel so tired.
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Do Women Experience Different Heart Attack Symptoms
It is important to remember that everyone experiences different heart attack symptoms. The symptoms of a subsequent heart attack may be different from the first.
Women are more likely than men to experience heart attack symptoms without chest discomfort. If they do have tightness, pressure or discomfort in the chest, this discomfort may not always be severe or even the most noticeable symptom.
Sometimes a person can have no heart attack symptoms at all. In these cases the heart attack isn’t diagnosed until it is picked up by a clinician at a later date. This is sometimes called a silent heart attack.
When Should You Call 911 For A Heart Problem
At certain times, calling 911 right away is a must. If youre having chest pressure or chest tightness that started that day, you should not wait to go to your general practitioner, says Dr. Cho. Go to the emergency room.
You should also call 911 and get help right away if you have chest pain or discomfort along with any of the following symptoms, especially if they last longer than five minutes:
- Pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including the arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- Sweating or cold sweat.
- Light-headedness, dizziness, extreme weakness or anxiety.
- Rapid or irregular heartbeats.
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Do Women Do Worse Than Men After A Heart Attack
Yes. In all age groups, women do worse than men after a heart attack. Researchers are not sure why this is, especially for younger women.
- Women between 45 and 65 who have a heart attack are more likely than men of the same age to die within a year of a heart attack.4 However, heart attack is less common in younger women than in younger men. This is partly because the hormone estrogen protects against heart disease in younger women.
- Women older than 65 are more likely than men of the same age to die within a few weeks of a heart attack.4 Women usually have heart attacks about 10 years later than men. The average age of a first heart attack for men is 64, but it is 72 for women.
Many women who have had a heart attack go on to lead full, active lives. Know the symptoms of a heart attack and what to do if you have any symptoms. Take steps to recover after a heart attack and prevent another heart attack.
How Is A Heart Attack Diagnosed
To diagnose a heart attack, a doctor will ask you about your symptoms, your health, and your family health history. The doctor will also order tests.
Doctors often use these types of tests to diagnose a heart attack and choose the best treatment.
- Blood tests. During a heart attack, heart muscle cells die and burst open. This process releases proteins into your blood. Heart attack blood tests measure the amount of these protein “markers” of heart damage. Common heart attack blood tests include:
- Cardiac troponin . This is the most common blood test. This marker is released from the injured heart muscle. It is not found in the blood of healthy people. Troponin levels go up three to six hours after your heart attack starts, so the test may not find a heart attack right away.
- Creatine Kinase-MB . The CKMB test measures the amount of damage to the heart because of blocked blood flow. The test can tell whether treatments to restore blood flow to the heart are working. CKMB levels rise about four to six hours after a heart attack starts and peak 24 hours later.
- Myoglobin. This test helps diagnose a heart attack in the very early stages. After a heart attack, myoglobin levels rise within one to four hours but peak after 12 hours.
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What Procedures Treat A Heart Attack
The most common procedures to treat a heart attack include:
- Angioplasty and stenting. Angioplasty, also called percutaneous coronary intervention, is a nonsurgical procedure that opens blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. A thin, flexible tube with a medical balloon on the end is threaded through a blood vessel to the narrowed or blocked coronary artery. Once in place, the balloon is inflated to open the artery to allow blood flow to the heart. The balloon is then deflated and removed. A small mesh tube called a stent may be permanently placed in the artery. The stent helps prevent new blockages in the artery.
- Coronary artery bypass grafting. The surgeon uses a healthy blood vessel from another part of your body to re-route blood around the blockage in your artery. You may need this surgery if more than one artery is blocked, or if angioplasty and stenting did not work to restore blood flow to the heart.
After a heart attack, you may also need cardiac rehabilitation to recover from the damage the heart attack did to your heart.
Shoulder Pain From Heart Attack
Although heart attack is most commonly associated with chest pain, it can also cause pain or discomfort in other parts of the body, including the shoulder.
Both women and men may experience shoulder pain during a heart attack. Some research suggests shoulder pain during a heart attack may be more common in women than men.
A 2018 study looked at 532 people who had an ST-elevation myocardial infarction , a type of heart attack that affects the whole heart muscle wall. Shoulder pain was twice as common in women than men. Throat and back pain were also more common in women.
Heart attack in men usually causes chest pain or discomfort, which may feel like pain, heaviness, pressure, fullness, squeezing, or heartburn. It typically lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away but returns again.
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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.
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.
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What Should You Do If You Have Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
- . One Swiss study found that women wait almost 40 minutes longer to call for help than men do, perhaps because they dont recognize the symptoms. Older research shows that calling an ambulance is usually quicker than driving yourself to the ER. Thats because if they know youre coming, the hospital can prep for you, and you get care along the way.
- Lead with chest pain or pressure when you get to the hospital and the doctor asks about your symptoms. Even if you have other symptoms, Put that out first rather than burying it, advises Lichtman.
- Dont play down what youre feeling. Be the squeaky wheel, says Dr. Watson. Dr. Lichtman has done research showing that younger women who need care for a heart attack often dont want to look alarmist. Dont feel bad or think that you dont want to disturb anyone this is our job to save your life, Dr. Watson says.
Little To No Chest Pain
Chest pain is the most common heart attack or pre-heart attack symptom in both women and men. However, for men, the pain is often localized to their left side and the most prominent and severe symptom of a heart attack. Chest pain in a woman can be a subtler signal thats less easy to interpret.
Women might experience chest pain from a heart attack as a fullness or a vice-like squeezing throughout the chest. It also is often not the most prominent symptom, so women should be mindful of the suite of other symptoms that manifest at the same time, with the big one being
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