Friday, January 27, 2023

Heart Attack Women’s Symptoms

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Do Women Do Worse Than Men After A Heart Attack

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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.

Testing: What To Expect

The hours following a heart attack can be scary and confusing. Your medical team may be incredibly busy and focused, and hard-pressed to explain everything thats happening.

You and your caregivers are sure to have questions. You may wonder about the tests and procedures that are being performed.

In the section below, youll find descriptions of the kinds of diagnostic procedures you may encounter as your doctors strive to identify the underlying causes of your heart attack.

About Half Of All Heart Attacks Are Mistaken For Less Serious Problems And Can Increase Your Risk Of Dying From Coronary Artery Disease

Image: goir/Getty Images

You can have a heart attack and not even know it. A silent heart attack, known as a silent myocardial infarction , account for 45% of heart attacks and strike men more than women.

They are described as âsilentâ because when they occur, their symptoms lack the intensity of a classic heart attack, such as extreme chest pain and pressure stabbing pain in the arm, neck, or jaw sudden shortness of breath sweating, and dizziness.

âSMI symptoms can feel so mild, and be so brief, they often get confused for regular discomfort or another less serious problem, and thus men ignore them,â says Dr. Jorge Plutzky, director of the vascular disease prevention program at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Womenâs Hospital.

For instance, men may feel fatigue or physical discomfort and chalk it up to overwork, poor sleep, or some general age-related ache or pain. Other typical symptoms like mild pain in the throat or chest can be confused with gastric reflux, indigestion, and heartburn.

Also, the location of pain is sometimes misunderstood. With SMI, you may feel discomfort in the center of the chest and not a sharp pain on the left side of the chest, which many people associate with a heart attack. âPeople can even feel completely normal during an SMI and afterward, too, which further adds to the chance of missing the warning signs,â says Dr. Plutzky.

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What Causes Heart Disease In Women

While there is no single cause of heart disease in women, a common underlying cause can be atherosclerosis.

This is the build-up of fatty plaque in the artery walls where blood passes from the heart to the rest of the body. This plaque builds up and hardens, making the walls of your arteries narrow until blood cant pass properly from your heart to the rest of your body. Plaques can also break and form blood clots, which may limit or block blood flow throughout the body.

What Is A Silent Heart Attack

Heart attack symptoms and silent warning signs in women

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

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What Is The Difference Between A Heart Attack And Cardiac Arrest

A heart attack is not the same as cardiac arrest. In a heart attack, the heart keeps beating. The person has a pulse and usually stays conscious . During cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating. The person has no pulse and is unconscious .

A defibrillator is a machine that sends an electrical shock to the heart to restore normal rhythm. This treatment must be given as soon as possible. For cardiac arrest, call 911 and begin CPR right away. The American Heart Association says that with “hands only” CPR, anyone can give lifesaving treatment to someone having cardiac arrest. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest and keep going until emergency personnel arrive. Do not give CPR for a heart attack.

Heart Attack Risk Factors For Women

There are several factors that increase your chance of developing heartdisease. Almost 50% of all Americans have at least one of three major riskfactors for the condition:

  • High blood pressure: Women can develop high blood pressure as a side effect of birth control pills or during pregnancy. All women over 65 are more likely than men are to have high blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol: Estrogen seems to protect women against unhealthy levels of cholesterol. But after menopause, estrogen levels drop and high cholesterol becomes more likely.
  • Smoking: Although men are slightly more likely to smoke, the gap in cigarette usage between genders is smaller than ever and women are less likely to be able to quit successfully.

Additional risk factors include:

  • Excessive alcohol use

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When To Call The Doctor

If you have any signs of heart disease, call your health care provider right away. Donât wait to see if the symptoms go away or dismiss them as nothing.

  • You have chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack
  • You know you have angina and have chest pain that doesnât go away after 5 minutes of rest or after taking nitroglycerine
  • You think you may be having a heart attack
  • You become extremely short of breath
  • You think you may have lost consciousness

How Is Heart Disease Treated In Women

How to NOT DIE from a Heart Attack [Risks for Heart Attack] 2022

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.

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Other Potential Heart Attack Signs

Heart attack signs look different for everyone, although there are a few common ones to watch for.

  • Neck, jaw, arm, and back pain: Pain radiating to your jaw, back, neck, or arms may signal a heart condition, especially if the origin is hard to pinpoint. For example, you might feel pain, but no specific muscle or joint aches. If the discomfort begins or worsens when you are exerting yourself, and then stops when you quit exercising, you should also get it checked out.
  • Unexpected sweating: During menopause, many women experience hot flashes. However, sudden or excessive sweating associated with other symptoms such as nausea or chest pressure can also be a heart attack sign. Stress sweat when there is no real cause for stress, or sweating or shortness of breath accompanied by other symptoms, such as chest pain or fatigue, can be cause for concern.
  • Chest pain: Chest pain/pressure is a very common heart attack sign, but can feel different than you might think. We need to dig deeper into the symptom of chest pain for both men and women as it relates to heart attacks, Dr. Cho says. It is seldom as dramatic as you might think, and it can feel like pressure or heart burn that comes on over time.

What You Can Do Now To Prevent An Early Heart Attack

Although some risk factors are beyond your control, there are many thingsyou can do to protect your heart health. It’s estimated that 80% of heartdisease, including heart attacks and strokes, can be prevented throughlifestyle changes, such as:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases your heart disease risk. Get tips on how to watch your weight.
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet: Avoid processed foods and excess sugar. Eat a diet rich in whole, nutritious foods .
  • Exercising regularly: A consistent workout routine can boost your heart health. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week. Learn the kinds of exercise that can boost heart health.

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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.

Genetics

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.

Heart Attacks In Women

Heart attack symptoms in men and women: How they differ?

At least two Kiwi women die from a heart attack everyday. Do you know the risks and the warning signs? And are women’s heart attack symptoms different to those experienced by men?

Heart attacks are often perceived to be a man’s problem, but currently more than 900 Kiwi women die from one each year. That’s more than two Kiwi women a day losing their life to a heart attack. Heart disease more generally remains the single biggest killer of New Zealand women. There are currently more than 65,000 New Zealand women living with heart disease.

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What Is Heart Disease

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is a general term that refers to a range of heart conditions. These conditions affect the hearts ability to work efficiently and must be carefully managed to mitigate the risk posed.

Some conditions that fall under the heart disease umbrella include:

Heart Disease In Women Treatment

Treatment of heart disease will depend on your specific condition, the symptoms you experience and the cause of the condition. Options may include medications, angioplasty, stenting or coronary bypass surgery. Unlike men, women are less likely to be recommended aspirin and statins to reduce the risk of future heart attacks.

If you have concerns about your heart health, it is vital to get checked out for heart diseases by a medical professional as soon as possible. The earlier you catch heart disease and begin treatment, the better your outlook will be, reducing the risks of serious complications.

Echelon Health has a team of heart-health experts who can give you advice, treatment and support, ensuring you have the best possible outcome. Get in touch today to start your journey to optimal heart health.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Heart Disease

High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of all people in the United States have at least one of these three risk factors.6

Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including

Heart Attack In Women Over 50

How to Stop a Heart Attack

After menopause, which generally occurs around age 50, your risk of heart attack increases. During this period of life, your levels of the hormone estrogen drop. Estrogen is believed to help protect the health of your heart, which could explain why the average age of first heart attack is roughly 5 years older in women than in men.

There are additional symptoms of a heart attack that women over the age of 50 may experience. These symptoms include:

  • severe chest pain

A silent heart attack is like any other heart attack, except it occurs without the usual symptoms. In other words, you may not even realize youve experienced a heart attack.

The American Heart Association estimates that as many as 170,000 Americans experience heart attacks each year without even knowing it. Though less symptomatic than a full heart attack, these events cause heart damage and increase the risk of future attacks.

Silent heart attacks are more common among people with diabetes and in those whove had previous heart attacks.

Symptoms that may indicate a silent heart attack include:

  • mild discomfort in your chest, arms, or jaw that goes away after resting
  • shortness of breath and tiring easily
  • sleep disturbances and increased fatigue
  • abdominal pain or heartburn
  • skin clamminess

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What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Attack

The major symptoms of a heart attack are

  • Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
  • Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.

Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms. Learn more about women and heart disease.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.1Learn more facts about heart attack and heart disease.

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.

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Pregnancy And Heart Disease

From the early stages of pregnancy there are lots of changes in a womans body, including to the heart. The heart needs to work harder, pumping up to 50% more blood volume than normal. The blood is also more prone to clotting. There are extra demands on your heart around the time of birth. These demands can cause greater stress on your heart.

What To Do If You Notice Heart Attack Symptoms

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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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Do Women Have As Many Heart Attacks As Men

Coronary heart disease kills more than twice as many women as breast cancer in the UK every year, and it was the single biggest killer of women worldwide in 2019. Despite this, its often considered a mans disease.There are more than 800,000 women in the UK living with CHD, which is the main cause of heart attacks.

Each year more than 30,000 women are admitted to hospital in the UK due to a heart attack.

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