Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
Symptoms of a heart attack can include:
- chest pain a feeling of pressure, heaviness, tightness or squeezing across your chest
- pain in other parts of the body it can feel as if the pain is spreading from your chest to your arms , jaw, neck, back and tummy
- feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- feeling sick or being sick
- an overwhelming feeling of anxiety
- coughing or wheezing
The chest pain is often severe, but some people may only experience minor pain, similar to indigestion.
While the most common symptom in both men and women is chest pain, women are more likely to have other symptoms such as shortness of breath, feeling or being sick and back or jaw pain.
When To Contact Your Doctor
Prompt treatment is needed to prevent a heart attack causing serious complications. Therefore, it is important to take the time to learn the signs of a heart attack and notice them as quickly and as early as possible so as to know when to seek medical attention. You should call 999 whenever you notice any symptoms that could be caused by a heart attack. However, the most notable sign to look out for is a sudden and persistent discomfort or pain in your chest. This is one of the most common signs of a heart attack. If you or a loved one is experiencing a sudden pain in your chest it is advised to call 999 immediately.
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
- tightening and pain in the chest that may extend into the neck, jaws and shoulders
- general feeling of weakness
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.
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Risk Of Heart Attack Rises In The Last 2 Weeks Of December
The holiday season is filled with to-do lists, but one should rise to the top: Take care of your heart.
Whether from stress, cold weather or falling out of good habits in terms of eating, sleeping and drinking, heart attack rates spike as much as 40% between Christmas and New Year’s, according to cardiologist Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones. He is chairman of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago.
“When we look across the year in terms of heart attack rates, what we see is fairly constant rates week by week with two exceptions: One is that there’s a broad, shallow dip in summer months and, two, there is a very short spike of about 30% to 40% in the last couple weeks of the year between Christmas and New Year’s,” Lloyd-Jones said in a university news release.
It’s important not to underestimate symptoms, he stressed.
“We have two kidneys and two lungs, but only one heart and one brain, so it’s much safer to err on the side of caution,” Lloyd-Jones said. “If there’s any doubt, get checked out in person. At best, hopefully you are aborting a heart attack or stroke. Time is heart muscle, time is brain cells, and so time is of the essence. The sooner you seek help in that situation, the sooner we can save your life or brain.”
Family stress is an issue for some, as well as falling out of healthy habits.
Weather is another culprit when it comes to winter heart issues.
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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Causes And Risk Factors
Risk factors such as age, lifestyle habits, and other health conditions affect men and women differently.
- Women may get heart attacks at older ages than men do.
- Smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, high blood sugar, obesity, and stress raise the risk of a heart attack more in women than in men.
- Women are more likely than men to have heart attacks that are not caused by coronary artery disease. This can make it more difficult for healthcare providers to diagnose heart attacks in women.
- Women have more health problems after having a heart attack than men do.
Learn about how women can prevent heart disease.
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.
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Heart Attack In Women Over 50
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
Symptoms Of A Heart Attack In Women And How To Reduce The Risk Of A Heart Attack
An interruption in the blood supply to the heart can result in a heart attack, a potentially fatal situation. Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack unique to women may encourage someone to seek medical treatment more quickly, possibly saving their life.
Women are less likely to survive their initial heart attack than men. The symptoms may vary between the sexes, which could explain this. Women are more likely to experience an uncommon symptom or suffer a “silent” heart attack. Many people anticipate a heart attack to occur suddenly. However, evidence indicates that women have symptoms weeks before a heart attack. The study of heart diseases is called Cardiology.
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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.
Reducing The Risk Of A Heart Attack
The American Heart Association offers these lifestyle changes to prevent or reduce the risk of having a heart attack. For example, quitting smoking significantly reduces your chances of a heart attack, as does focusing on good nutrition and a healthy diet in aims to reduce your blood pressure – which also helps prevent cardiovascular diseases. Partaking in regular physical activity also promotes good heart health.
A more extensive list includes:
- Taking steps to lower your blood cholesterol, this can be done by improving your diet.
- Reducing stress.
- And lowering your alcohol intake.
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Why Is Heart Attack More Common In Females
Historically, research on heart disease in males has shaped most of our theories on the condition in women. However, there are numerous arguments in favour of the notion that women experience it differently. Women frequently experience distinct heart-attack symptoms than men, and they are considerably more likely than men to pass away a year after having a heart attack. Additionally, it appears that women don’t respond as well to clot-busting medications or specific heart-related medical procedures as males do.
Heart disease can begin in infancy, progress subtly through time, and suddenly manifest as a sudden, often fatal heart attack. Therefore, we shouldn’t put off taking adequate measures to lower our risk until women start exhibiting the symptoms of a heart attack or until more information from research is available.
Waiting For An Ambulance
If you have had a heart attack, it’s important that you rest while you wait for an ambulance, to avoid unnecessary strain on your heart.
If aspirin is available and you are not allergic to it, slowly chew and then swallow an adult-size tablet while you wait for the ambulance.
Aspirin helps to thin your blood and improve blood flow to your heart.
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What Are The Pre
Females of all age groups must seriously consider heart disease or cardiovascular conditions. Especially those around the age of 65 and have an association with a family history of heart conditions. Females show more pre-heart attack manifestations while at rest or even while sleeping in comparison to males. This is because emotional factors play a crucial role in triggering the onset of a heart attack. Additionally, women tend to have heart attacks without any diagnosis of coronary artery disease.
Below are some of the clinical signs and symptoms of pre-heart attack in females.
Uncomfortable pressure in various body parts.
Feeling of heaviness in the body.
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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Early Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
A lot of heart damage happens in the first 2 hours following a heart attack, which means that paying attention to any early symptoms is critical. The sooner you receive help for a heart attack, the better.
According to the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, early heart attack symptoms may occur in 50 percent of all people who have heart attacks.
Early symptoms of heart attack can include the following:
- mild pain or discomfort in your chest that may come and go, which is also called stuttering chest pain
nearly twice the rate that women do. Men also have heart attacks earlier in life compared to women. If you have a family history of heart disease or a history of cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, or other risk factors, your chances of having a heart attack are even higher.
Symptoms of a heart attack in men include:
- standard chest pain/pressure that feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest, with a squeezing sensation, heaviness, or pressure in the chest that may come and go or remain constant and intense
- upper body pain or discomfort, including arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
- rapid or irregular heartbeat
- stomach discomfort that feels like indigestion
- shortness of breath, which may leave you feeling like you cant get enough air, even when youre resting
- dizziness or feeling like youre going to pass out
- breaking out in a cold sweat
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.
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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.