Monday, October 3, 2022

Signs Of Heart Attacks In Females

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Risk Factors For Heart Disease In Women

Heart Attack Signs for Women

Many common risk factors for coronary artery disease high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity affect both women and men. But other factors play a crucial role in the development of heart disease in women as well. These include:

Diabetes.

Diabetic women are more at peril for heart diseases than men without diabetes. Also, since diabetes can change the way you feel pain, you have a higher risk of having a silent heart attack without any symptoms.

Stress and depression.

Stress and depression affect the hearts of women more than men. Stress makes it hard to maintain a normal lifestyle and follow prescribed treatments.

Smoking is a more significant risk factor for heart disease in women than in men.

Inactivity.

Loss of physical activity is a vital determinant for heart disease. Studies have discovered that women are less active than men.

Menopause.

Low levels of estrogen after menopause increase the risk of developing the disease in small blood vessels.

Pregnancy problems.

High blood pressure and diabetes during pregnancy can increase a mothers high blood pressure and chronic risk of diabetes.

Family history of early heart disease.

It appears to be a higher risk factor in women than men.

Inflammatory diseases.

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Are You At Increased Risk

Aging is a significant risk factor, with more than 88,000 women between ages 45 and 64 having heart attacks each year. At menopause, a womans heart disease risk increases significantly, Dr. Anderson says. However, risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history of heart disease and being overweight and smoking increase the possibility of heart attack in women at even younger ages.

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.

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Common Symptoms In Men

Another common symptom of heart attack in men is pain or discomfort in one or more of the following areas:

  • jaw

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
  • kidney failure
  • cancer
  • 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

I Thought I Had The Flu

Heart Attack Symptoms: Men vs. Women

Even though heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu or normal aging.

They do this because they are scared and because they put their families first, Goldberg said. There are still many women who are shocked that they could be having a heart attack.

A heart attack strikes someone about every 43 seconds. It occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because the arteries that supply the heart with blood can slowly narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances .

Watch an animation of a heart attack.

Many women think the signs of a heart attack are unmistakable the image of the elephant comes to mind but in fact they can be subtler and sometimes confusing.

You could feel so short of breath, as though you ran a marathon, but you haven’t made a move, Goldberg said.

Some women experiencing a heart attack describe upper back pressure that feels like squeezing or a rope being tied around them, Goldberg said. Dizziness, lightheadedness or actually fainting are other symptoms to look for.

Many women I see take an aspirin if they think they are having a heart attack and never call 911, Goldberg said. But if they think about taking an aspirin for their heart attack, they should also call 911.

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Heart Attack Symptoms Are They Different For Men And Women

Three minute read

Every year, more than one million people in the U.S. suffer from a heart attack. This means every 40 seconds someone in the US experiences congestive heart failure. Although heart disease death rates have fallen steadily for men, the rates for women have decreased only slightly.

Why is there such a discrepancy between men and women? A lot of it has to do with the variances in symptoms of heart attacks for each gender.

Difference in heart attack symptoms for men and women

Chest tightening, sweating and pain in the shoulder and arm are the most well-known symptoms of a heart attack. For years, many believed these were the only symptoms to look out for, but as we learn more about cardiovascular disease, we find that there are significant differences in how men and women experience a heart attack.

Warning signs in men

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for men. In fact, 1 in every 4 males die from a heart attack. Men also experience heart attacks earlier in life compared to women. Men exhibit the following symptoms during a heart attack:

  • Chest pain/tightening that feels like an elephant sitting on your chest. Also, a squeezing sensation that comes and goes or remains constant
  • Upper body pain in the arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Rapid heartbeats
  • Cold sweat

Warning signs in women

Women are less likely to seek treatment

What to do if you think youre having a heart attack

Schedule regular check-ups

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Tell Your Friends And Make An Impact

Heart disease is often considered a significant problem for men. However, it is the most common cause of death for men and women in different countries, including the United States. Since some of the symptoms of heart attack in women are different than men, women often do not know what to look for.

Luckily, by learning the symptoms of their specific heart disease, women can reduce their risk of heart disease.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Attacks In Women

Until recently, research on heart attacks focused mainly on men. However, studies now show that some of the symptoms of heart attacks in women are different from those in men.

Too often, the signs of heart attacks go unnoticed in women . They may think that other health problems or drug side effects are causing their symptoms or that the symptoms will go away on their own. As a result, women don’t always get the health care they need to prevent complications or death from a heart attack.

Chest pain is the most common symptom in both sexes, but women may also experience these other symptoms:

  • unusual fatigue that gets worse with activity
  • difficulty breathing
  • heartburn that is unrelieved by antacids
  • nausea and/or vomiting that is unrelieved by antacids
  • anxiety
  • tightening and pain in the chest that may extend into the neck, jaws and shoulders
  • general feeling of weakness
  • paleness
  • sweating.

Some women may have few of these symptoms, while others may have all of them at the same time. Symptoms may suddenly appear and then disappear. Also, women often report symptoms up to one month before the heart attack. If a woman has any of these symptoms and thinks she may be having a heart attack, she should immediately call emergency or go to the nearest emergency medical centre.

What Is A Silent Heart Attack

Women’s Heart Attack Symptoms

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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Do You Know Which Symptoms Signal A Heart Attack In Women

Womenâs heart attacks can be different than menâs. Learn the warning signs.

Most women know the symptoms of a heart attack — squeezing chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea. But as it turns out, these symptoms are more typical for males. Female heart attacks can be quite different — and itâs important for all women to learn the warning signs.

Rhonda Monroe’s story is a cautionary tale. She was mystified when strong pain struck her left breast and left arm. Monroe, who was a 36-year-old mother of three, didnât know it at the time, but she was having early symptoms of a heart attack. âI certainly wasnât thinking about my heart because I was young and healthy and had been skinny,â she says.

As the pain moved into her shoulder and back, Monroe took pain relievers and showered for relief. But the next day, she was overwhelmed with nausea, sweating, vomiting, and chest pain. An ambulance rushed her to the emergency room.

Her next hurdle: getting the doctors to believe her. âThey didnât take me seriously,â Monroe says. She didnât fit the profile of a heart attack patient. The doctors told her she was too young, she was not overweight, and there was no family history of heart disease.

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 Can Last For Days

Since many symptoms of a heart attack in women dont include chest pain, theyre often overlooked. Unusual fatigue, nausea, weakness, and other signs may be mistaken for illnesses such as the flu.

Vague symptoms make heart attack harder to identify, but women are also more likely to dismiss or minimize their symptoms in comparison to men. In fact, one study found that women waited 54 hours to seek treatment for heart attack symptoms, compared to men who waited just 16 hours.

If you think you or a loved one is suffering a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Follow the operators instructions and try to take slow, deep breaths until help arrives. Seeking treatment as early as possible increases your chances of a full recovery.

What Is A Heart Attack

Women

Most people associate heart attacks with chest pain. Some people, especially women, may have a heart attack without chest pain. It’s important to know the other signs of a heart attack.

A heart attack happens when a blocked artery prevents blood from reaching your heart. The arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart can become narrowed. This narrowing is due to atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque on and in your artery walls. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, and other substances.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the US. About one in five female deaths is due to heart disease.

Read Also: What Is Conjestive Heart Failure

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.”

Show Sources

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.

One Patients Success Story

Carol, 59 years young, had a history of high cholesterol, high blood sugar and low hormones from menopause. We discussed lifestyle medicine and optimized her nutrition plan, adding more phytonutrient dense foods, veggies and decreased sugar. She started working with a personal trainer twice weekly and lost body fat. We rechecked many of the labs discussed above. Her cholesterol decreased and we were able to taper off her statin medication. After a few months, we decreased her metformin. Currently she is completely off both of these medications!She was determined and motivated to decrease her cardiovascular risk and she did it!Carol is delighted that she does not have to take extra medications and that her lifestyle is optimizing her health. We used the concept of epigenetics and nutrigenomics to optimize her heart health.

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When Should You See Your Doctor

Its always better to err on the side of caution if something doesnt feel right. If you have noticed that you are shorter of breath with regular activity, you should go to your general doctor or your cardiologist, says Dr. Cho. It depends on the severity and the acuteness if it has started recently or not.

When you do visit, be sure to:

  • Bring a list of your symptoms and when they are occurring.
  • Let them know about any related family history of heart disease.
  • Talk about stress or anything going on in your life that might contribute to a problem.

Your doctor likely will listen to your symptoms and check your pulse and blood pressure. They may order blood work, which will show whether your heart is damaged. They also may use an electrocardiogram to tell whether the electrical activity of your heart is normal, or an echocardiogram to view images of the heart to see if damage has occurred. Some patients may get stress tests, a coronary computed tomography angiogram or a cardiac catheterization.All of this is important in identifying any problems and taking steps to intervene before a possible heart attack.

Heart Attack Symptoms In Women

Mayo Clinic Minute: Women’s heart attack symptoms vary

If you have any of these signs, call 911 and get to a hospital right away.

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • 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.
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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.

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