How Does Heart Disease Affect Women
In the United States, heart disease is the number one cause of death in women. But women are often not diagnosed with heart disease as quickly as men are. That’s because:
- Women are more likely than men to have “silent” heart disease, meaning that they don’t have symptoms.
- Health care providers may not recognize heart disease in women because women’s symptoms may be different from men’s symptoms.
- Women are more likely than men to have certain types of heart disease that can be harder to diagnose.
A delay in diagnosis may mean a delay in medical care that could help prevent serious problems, such as a heart attack. That’s why it’s important to learn about your risk for heart disease, the symptoms in women, and how to keep your heart healthy.
News Anchor’s Stroke On Live Tv Raises Awareness Of Women’s Risk At Any Age
‘NCIS’ star Pauley Perrette also suffered a stroke, raising warnings about women’s risk.
TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma news anchor and a TV actress are raising awareness about women’s stroke risk at any age by sharing their own experiences.
“I’m sorry,” Chin said, interrupting the broadcast to throw it to the station’s meteorologist. “Something is going on with me this morning and I apologize to everybody.”
Chin later , writing that her doctors believe she suffered the “beginnings of a stroke” while on the air.
“The episode seemed to have come out of nowhere. I felt great before our show. However, over the course of several minutes during our newscast, things started to happen,” she wrote. “First, I lost partial vision in one eye. A little bit later my hand and arm went numb. Then, I knew I was in big trouble when my mouth would not speak the words that were right in front of me on the teleprompter. If you were watching Saturday morning, you know how desperately I tried to steer the show forward, but the words just wouldn’t come.”
Chin wrote that her coworkers called 911, and she was hospitalized for several days while undergoing multiple medical tests.
“NCIS” star Pauley Perrette also revealed recently that she nearly died from a “massive stroke” a year ago at the age of 52.
Perrette, now 53, took to Twitter on Sept. 2 to share an update on her recovery.
Warning Signs Your Body Gives You Before A Heart Attack
Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in both men and women worldwide. Contrast to what you may see in a movie, the signs of a heart attack can be hard to miss. “Two-thirds of women will have less-typical, non-Hollywood heart attack symptoms,” says C. Noel Bairey Merz, M.D., director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles.
Though symptoms like chest tightness and upper body pain are more obvious, heart attacks present a host of symptoms that can be easily mistaken for another ailment . Identifying the signs of a heart attack and seeking early intervention can be the difference between life or death. Here are the most common symptoms to look out for.
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What Can I Do To Recover After A Heart Attack
Take our quiz to see how much you know about cardiac rehabilitation.
If youve had a heart attack, your heart may be damaged. This could affect your hearts rhythm and its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. You may also be at risk for another heart attack or conditions such as stroke, kidney disorders, and peripheral arterial disease .
You can lower your chances of having future health problems following a heart attack with these steps:
- Physical activityTalk with your health care team about the things you do each day in your life and work. Your doctor may want you to limit work, travel, or sexual activity for some time after a heart attack.
- Lifestyle changesEating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and managing stressin addition to taking prescribed medicinescan help improve your heart health and quality of life. Ask your health care team about attending a program called cardiac rehabilitation to help you make these lifestyle changes.
- Cardiac rehabilitationCardiac rehabilitation is an important program for anyone recovering from a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart problem that required surgery or medical care. Cardiac rehab is a supervised program that includes
- Physical activity
- Education about healthy living, including healthy eating, taking medicine as prescribed, and ways to help you quit smoking
- Counseling to find ways to relieve stress and improve mental health
The Four Silent Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
In addition to extreme fatigue, here are the most common symptoms of heart attacks in women, according to the American Heart Association, so you know what to look for. Note that you may not have all of them:
All of these signs are “silent,” in the sense that they are easy to ignore especially if you dont want to believe youre having a heart attack. Another reason people think of them as silent signs of a heart attack is that individually, these symptoms could all be attributed to other conditions. The chest pain, in particular, may not be the dramatic, elephant-on-my-chest stereotypical male heart attack pain, says Lichtman.
And the sheer number of these ambiguous symptoms may be one of the reasons many women dont know theyre having a heart attack, according to Lichtmans research there are other things bothering them, so they blow off the chest pain or pressure symptom, says Lichtman.
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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.”
What Not To Do
If you feel heart attack symptoms:
- Donât delay getting help. “Women generally wait longer than men before going to the emergency room,” says Rita F. Redberg, MD, MSc, FACC, director of Women’s Cardiovascular Services for the UCSF Division of Cardiology in San Francisco. Even if you think your symptoms arenât that bad or will pass, the stakes are too high.
- Don’t drive yourself to the hospital. You need an ambulance. If you drive, you could have a wreck on the way and possibly hurt yourself or someone else.
- Donât have a friend or relative drive you, either. You may not get there fast enough.
- Donât dismiss what you feel. “Don’t worry about feeling silly if you’re wrong,” Goldberg says. You have to get it checked out right away.
“People don’t want to spend hours in an emergency room if it isn’t a heart attack,” Bairey Merz says. “But women are actually good at deciding what is typical for themselves and when to seek health care.”
Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director, Joan H. Tisch Center for Womenâs Health, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York.
C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, FACC, FAHA, director, Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center director, Preventive Cardiac Center professor of medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.
Rita F. Redberg, MD, MSc, FACC, director, Women’s Cardiovascular Services, UCSF division of cardiology professor of medicine, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco editor, JAMA Internal Medicine.
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Heart Attack Symptoms Go Beyond Chest Pain
Portrayals in movies and TV shows often make heart attacks look like sudden, crushing chest pain. While chest discomfort, pressure, or pain are common symptoms of heart attack, they arent the only ones.
Women are more likely than men to have more subtle heart attack symptoms that may be unrelated to the chest. You could be having a heart attack if you experience pain in your:
Symptoms can be vague, and many women brush them off because theyre not widely known as signs of a heart attack. Learning to recognize the more subtle symptoms can help you identify a cardiac event sooner before permanent damage occurs.
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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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.
Early Signs Of Heart Disease In Women
Early detection of warning signs can lead to better outcomes in treatment and prevention. However, not all women will have symptoms or warning signs of heart disease before an emergency arises, such as a heart attack. For those who do have symptoms, there are several warning signs that may indicate heart disease in women. Warning signs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Chest pain and discomfort
- Pain in neck, jaw, shoulders, or upper back
- Pain in both arms
- General weakness
- Changes in skin color
Symptoms of heart disease or a heart attack tend to be more subtle in women than in men. In some cases, women do not feel much pain in the chest, and issues are more prone to occur in women while at rest or sleeping. This is why it is important to consult with your doctor if you have symptoms or risk factors for heart disease. Call 911 or have someone take you immediately to the ER if you are noticing any possible symptoms of a heart attack.
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Heart Attack Symptoms In Women Are They Different
Chest pain is still the most common sign of a heart attack for most women, although studies have shown that women are more likely than men to have symptoms other than chest pain or discomfort when experiencing a heart attack or other form of acute coronary syndrome , according to an article “Symptom Presentation of Women With Acute Coronary Syndromes Myth vs. Reality” published online Dec. 10 in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
Researchers examined 35 years of research that yielded 69 studies 69 studies and found that, depending on the size of the study , between 30 percent and 37 percent of women did not have chest discomfort during a heart attack. In contrast, 17 percent to 27 percent of men did not experience chest discomfort. Overall, the majority of women and men in the reviewed studies had chest discomfort with heart attack .
Study authors also found that older people are more likely to have heart attack without chest discomfort. However, because women are on average nearly a decade older than men at the time of their initial heart attack, the researchers call for more studies to determine the degree to which gender independently influences heart attack symptoms.
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What Causes A Heart Attack In Women
Heart attacks, both in men and women, occur when the blood flow to and from the heart is blocked, there is a deformity in the heart or when there is damage to the heart.
Traditional risk factors such as diabetes, cholesterol, weight, and blood pressure are the same for both men and women. However, the risk factors are much higher for women compared to men.
Here are some of the major risk factors for heart attack in women:
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Symptoms Of Heart Attack In Women:
- Unusual pain in your neck, chest, shoulder, jaw, abdomen and/or through to your back
- Feeling short of breath, sweaty
- Racing of your heart or feeling of fluttering
- Nausea and vomiting
If you experience one or more of these symptoms, then you should get immediate medical attention.
Feelings of embarrassment and not wanting to be a burden on others are major reasons why women tend to delay seeking treatment. It is important to identify any problems and take the necessary steps to intervene before a possible heart attack.
Mum Who Had A Heart Attack At 38 And Again At 40 Shares Warning Signs
A fit and healthy mother-of-two has revealed how she suffered from a shock heart attack at 38 before having an ‘almost heart attack’ less than two years later.
Nicola, now 44, from Melbourne told FEMAIL she had been feeling a little light headed, had some ‘heartburn’ and hot flushes in the hours before her attack.
But things intensified when Nicola put her two kids to bed.
‘I had just put the little one to sleep and went to get up and felt really lightheaded, dizzy,’ she said.
‘And I had really bad heartburn, burning in the chest that took my breath away.’
She stumbled to the other side of the room where she was hit by a wave of nausea as she called out for her husband.
‘Then my jaw started hurting. And my husband called the ambulance.’
The busy mum said she knew whatever was happening was ‘an emergency’ but had no idea she was suffering from a catastrophic heart attack.
Even paramedics missed the signs when they arrived to her home, 20 minutes after her husband first phoned.
‘He said that I probably had gastro, but because my son had just had an operation he would take me to the hospital as we couldn’t have gastro at home,’ she said.
‘But I knew it wasn’t, I hadn’t thrown up. I just agreed, yes, take me to the hospital.’
The paramedics checked her vitals after she stepped into the ambulance – that’s when Nicola first realised something was wrong with her heart.
‘They did the ECG and I just saw his face,’ she said.
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Heart Attack Symptoms In Women
If you have any of these signs, call 911 and get to a hospital right away.
Heart Attack In Women
The estrogen produced by a womans ovaries is very good for the heart. The natural estrogen acts as a protective agent for the heart. However, after menopause, the ovaries stop producing estrogen.
Therefore, a heart attack in women is likely to occur after menopause. This is one of the reasons women develop heart diseases later in life as compared to men.
The IHA says that after menopause, with declining estrogen levels, a womans risk for heart disease not only approaches but surpasses that of a man with similar risk factors. This increases further once the woman crosses 75 years of age. This could be because of changes in cholesterol levels after menopause. The condition is worse for Indian and South Asian women as they are deficient in HDL2b, the good cholesterol.
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