What Are The Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
If you have any of the symptoms below, you could be having a heart attack. If symptoms are severe, get worse quickly, or last longer than 10 minutes, call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance. If calling triple zero does not work on your mobile try calling 112.
The most common symptoms of a heart attack include:
- chest pain pressure or tightness in the chest and arms that may spread to the jaw, neck or back
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Women may experience different symptoms, such as:
- breathlessness and generally feeling unwell
- tightness or discomfort in the arms
- back pain or pressure
Heart attack symptoms differ from person to person. Some people experience no warning signs before a heart attack while others feel symptoms days or weeks in advance. Nearly 1 in 3 men and nearly 4 in 10 women who have heart attacks dont feel any chest pain at all. Chest pains may also come and go.
Taking Your Health To Heart
Its important to understand your risk factors and be aware of common heart attack symptoms. Another way you can take care of your heart health is by focusing on prevention. You can find more heart-healthy lifestyle tips, as well as evidence-based treatments for cardiac care, on our heart health guide.
When Should I See My Doctor
If calling triple zero does not work on your mobile, try calling 112. Early treatment could save a life.
See your doctor regularly to manage your general health, test for heart disease risk factors and help you take steps to prevent a heart attack.
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Early Warning Signs Of Heart Attack In Women
A study of 515 women found that about 95% had symptoms more than one month before their heart attack. Some of these symptoms include:
Women are also more likely to have silent heart attacks, where there are no symptoms or very mild symptoms.
You may only learn that you had a silent heart attack days or weeks after it happened. A study of 708 heart attack cases showed that more than 25% of heart attacks were only discovered during routine medical check-ups.
Heart Attack Endemic In India
India is currently seeing a surge in heart attack death cases. Most of the cases are being reported from the young age groups, between 18-30. What exactly is the cause? How can one stay safe? Experts suggest that the first thing to keep in mind is to understand the symptoms. Proper medical intervention at the right time is important to stay safe from life-threatening cardiological issues.
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How Does Heart Disease Affect Women
Despite increases in awareness over the past decades, only about half of women recognize that heart disease is their number 1 killer.1
Learn more facts about women and heart disease:
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 314,186 women in 2020or about 1 in every 5 female deaths.2
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for African American and white women in the United States. Among American Indian and Alaska Native women, heart disease and cancer cause roughly the same number of deaths each year. For Hispanic and Asian or Pacific Islander women, heart disease is second only to cancer as a cause of death.3
- About 1 in 16 women age 20 and older have coronary heart disease, the most common type of heart disease:4
- About 1 in 16 white women , black women , and Hispanic women
- About 1 in 30 Asian women
Signs Of Heart Disease May Be More Subtle In Women Than Men
Symptoms of heart disease the country’s No. 1 killer may be more subtle and varied in women than in men, according to a review publishedThursdayin the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
Understanding the differences in symptoms is particularly important for women. Corrine Jurgens, an author of the review and an associate professor at the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College, said that women tend to be diagnosed with heart disease later in life than men, when they may have other underlying conditions that could make identifying subtle symptoms of heart disease much more difficult.
What’s more, a 2020 report, also published in Circulation, found a 10-year decline in awareness among women that heart disease is indeed their biggest health threat.
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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. Itâs 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.
Heart Attacks In Women
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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Symptoms Of Stroke In Women
Strokes are not as common as heart attacks, but can come on without warning. Here are signs that a stroke may be occurring:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Its worth noting that in some women symptoms of heart problems, like palpitations, chills or faintness, may actually be symptoms of perimenopause. However, if you are experiencing these symptoms, you should see your healthcare practitioner.
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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Let’s Win This Together
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Support the innovative research, education and prevention services that protect the women we love.
Weve all seen the movie scenes where a man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. In reality, a heart attack victim could easily be a woman, and the scene may not be that dramatic.
Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYUs Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.
Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesnt get help right away.
What Causes Heart Attacks
The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease. This is where fatty deposits, cholesterol and other substances build up in the walls of the coronary arteries that supply oxygen to the heart. Over time, this build-up hardens into plaque that can break off at any time and cause a blood clot which blocks the artery.
In some cases, heart attacks have another cause:
- Coronary artery spasm is an unusual narrowing of blood vessels that can stop blood flow to the heart.
- Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is a sudden tear in the wall of a coronary artery, which can also affect people who have few risk factors for heart disease.
Certain lifestyle factors are shown to increase your chances of heart disease and having a heart attack.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Attack
If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.
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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What Causes Heart Attack
Youll agree when I say knowing the causes is more important than learning about the symptoms of heart blockage in women.
Heart attacks in females occur for many reasons.
For starters, we experience immense stress daily. It aint easy balancing personal life, career, home, and kids together!
But studies show that long-term stress is one of the biggest causes of heart attacks in women.
It will affect your eating habits, hormone levels, and blood pressure and raise the risk of coronary diseases.
Were also not paying attention to our diets.
Eating unhealthy junk foods will definitely show some symptoms of heart blockage in females later on. High cholesterol and hypertension are owed to consuming rich fatty foods.
And lets not forget the lack of physical activities. Another major cause of a sudden spike in heart conditions.
So all in all, leading a healthy lifestyle = reduced risk of silent signs of heart attack in women.
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 youâre having a heart attack, get emergency help right away. Donât 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 youâre having a heart attack.
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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.
Are You Finding It Hard To Get Medical Help
We know that many of you are experiencing delays to treatment at this time, or have questions and concerns about getting medical help. We’ve created this set of information to help you with these issues.
If you are having emergency heart attack symptoms, do not wait for an appointment and call 999 immediately.
- being overweight
- not doing enough physical activity.
Identifying and managing risk factors early on could help lower your risk of a heart attack in the future.
- Get tips and advice on healthy living.
We recommend that all women over the age of 40 visit their local GP or nurse for a health check to check their cardiovascular risk. If you’re aged 4074 and living in England, you can ask for an NHS health check. Similar schemes are also available in other parts of the UK.Your doctor should invite you to review your risk every five years, but you can also just make an appointment yourself to check your blood pressure and cholesterol. This check might help to highlight anything that could put you at increased risk of having a heart attack.
If you have a family history of heart or circulatory disease make sure you tell your doctor or nurse. You’re considered to have a family history of heart or circulatory disease if:
- your father or brother was under the age of 55 when they were diagnosed with a heart or circulatory disease or
- your mother or sister was under the age of 65 when they were diagnosed with a heart or circulatory disease.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Heart Disease
To lower your chances of getting heart disease, its important to do the following:7
- Know your blood pressure. Having uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart disease. High blood pressure has no symptoms, so its important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Learn more about high blood pressure.
- Talk to your doctor or health care team about whether you should be tested for diabetes. Having uncontrolled diabetes raises your risk of heart disease.8 Learn more about diabetes.
- Quit smoking. If you dont smoke, dont start. If you do smoke, learn ways to quit.
- Discuss checking your blood cholesterol and triglycerides with your doctor. Learn more about cholesterol.
- Make healthy food choices. Having overweight or obesity raises your risk of heart disease. Learn more about overweight and obesity.
- Limit how much alcohol you drink to one drink a day. Learn more about alcohol.
- Manage stress levels by finding healthy ways to cope with stress. Learn more about coping with stress.
Why Your Sleep Pattern Is Vital To Your Heart And Brain Health
“Many women are concerned about their breast cancer risk, and they perceive that as their greatest health threat,” said Dr. Deirdre Mattina, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. But “we know that one in three women are going to die of heart disease” every year.
For both women and men, signs of heart problems rarely occur in isolation.
“Symptoms often occur in clusters,” Jurgens said. “Very rarely does someone come in with just one symptom.”
And though sudden cardiac events heart attack or stroke, for example certainly appear without warning, many symptoms worsen over time.
Mattina said that patients with heart failure, for example, may report no longer being able to walk as far as they used to, or a gradual decline in the ability to take in full breaths.
“We’re looking for a pattern,” Mattina said.
Here are the most common ways for six different cardiovascular conditions that present in patients.
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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.