Take The Ehac Oath With Us
We encourage you to start taking care of your heart health today. We can kick this commitment off by taking the EHAC oath together.
I understand that heart attacks have beginnings and on occasion, signs of an impending heart attack may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain and weakness. These may occur hours or weeks before the actual heart attack. I solemnly swear that if happens to me or anyone I know I will call 9-1-1 or activate Emergency Medical Services.
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Causes Of Abnormal Heart Rates In Women
There are several potential causes of abnormal heart rates in women, including:
- Medications Certain medications, such as beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers, can affect the heart rate by slowing it down or speeding it up.
- Medical conditions Certain conditions, such as thyroid problems, anemia, or coronary artery disease, can cause abnormal heart rates.
- Physical activity Physical activity can cause heart rates to increase temporarily. However, if heart rates remain elevated for an extended time, it may be a sign of a medical condition.
- Stress Emotional stress can cause heart rates to increase, but it is generally not a long-term cause of abnormal heart rates.
- Alcohol or drug use: Substance abuse, including alcohol and drug use, can cause abnormal heart rates.
- Caffeine Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase heart rate.
Its again important to note that these are just some potential causes of abnormal heart rates in women and that women should consult with a professional to determine the specific cause of their abnormal heart rate. We keep reminding ourselves of this as its important. Not every woman is the same. Treatments and reasons may vary.
Normal Heart Rate For Women
The average heart rate for women varies based on age and fitness level. However, a generic resting heart rate for matured females is usually 60 to 100 beats per minute . This usually remains the same for both men & women as well. However, its important to note that this range is just a general guideline, and heart rates can vary widely among individuals.
For example, a fit and physically active woman may have a resting heart rate that falls on the lower end of the normal range, while a less active woman may have a higher resting heart rate. Age can also play a role in heart rate, as heart rates tend to slow down as we get older naturally.
Its also important to regularly monitor your pulse rate and be aware of any changes, as sudden increases or decreases may indicate an underlying medical condition unrelated to the heart.
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/7how Is Sweating Related To Heart Issues
Heavy sweating happens due to reduced cardiac activity or ability. When the heart is not capable of functioning properly or when it slows down the body has to put extra pressure to ease the blood flow. This is when the person sweats.
Sweating is a potential indicator of heart attack and health experts have always warned people to take note of this and take medical help at the earliest.
Heart Attack Vs Cardiac Arrest
Heart attacks occur when a coronary artery leading to the heart is blocked, which prevents blood from reaching the organ.
Meanwhile, “a cardiac arrest essentially is the cessation of heart activity or a stopping of the heart pumping, which is generally due to what’s called an arrhythmia or an electrical disturbance of the heart,” Dr. Matthew Saybolt, a cardiologist with Jersey Shore University Medical Center, told ABC News.
One good way to differentiate between the two is to think of a heart attack as a “circulation” problem and cardiac arrest as an “electrical” problem, according to the American Heart Association.
While cardiac arrest can occur immediately following a heart attack or during recovery — and heart attacks increase the risk of cardiac arrest — one does not have to be preceded by the other.
“Heart attacks can cause a cardiac arrest but not all cardiac arrests are due to a heart attack and not all heart attacks result in a cardiac arrest,” Bhatt said.
Heart attacks are primarily caused by coronary heart disease, which is when heart arteries can’t deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart.
This happens because of atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing of blood vessels from plaque build-up made of fat, cholesterol, and other substances. Risk factors for atherosclerosis and having a heart attack include older age, male sex, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, among others.
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How Symptoms Of Heartburn Differ From Symptoms Of Heart Attack
While both conditions may possess the same symptoms, the areas these conditions affect are different.
For starters, heartburn pains begin around the upper part of the stomach before gradually moving toward the chest. On the other hand, a heart attack involves an uncomfortable sensation in the center or left side of the chest. This sensation may sometimes be described as a certain squeezing or pressure on the chest.
Heartburn is also quite noticeable, especially after eating a meal, while the pains accompanying a heart attack are sudden. Finally, heartburn will leave you with a sour taste due to the rising acid. On the other hand, heart attacks will leave you with shortness of breath.
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.
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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.
Surprising Heart Attack Symptoms Women Should Never Ignore
Heart disease remains the number-one cause of death for women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . In fact, according to a 2017 study conducted by the University of Leeds and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association , women are much more likely to die following a heart attack than men are. The reason? Women are more likely to dismiss their symptoms or wait too long to report them.
Why do female heart attack symptoms so often get disregarded? Well, for one, they aren’t as easy to recognize. Heart attack symptoms in a woman can look and feel very different from the better-known symptoms that tend to affect men. In contrast to the big, loud physical indicators in males, female heart attack symptoms tend to be more nuanced and manifest in concert. That is why women should never ignore these unusual symptoms, especially if they experience more than one at the same time:
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Heart Attacks: Watch For The Signs
According to the American Heart Association, heart attack symptoms for women and men can include uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the chest cold sweats dizziness or fainting and anxiety or a sense of impending doom.
Although chest pain is common in women with a heart attack, some women do not experience chest pain at all.
Symptoms more common in women than men include shortness of breath nausea or vomiting pain in one or both arms and neck, back, jaw or stomach pain.
Heart disease kills about one woman every minute in the United States, according to the American Heart Associations Go Red for Women program. Despite this, only one in five women believe heart disease is the biggest threat to their health.
Also consider that heart disease is not an equal opportunity disease for women. Depending on your ethnicity and racial background, your heart disease risk may be higher or lower compared with other women. Go Red for Women details important information on this:
Is This A Heart Attack Common Symptoms
When you think “heart attack,” classic symptoms such as chest discomfort might first come to mind. But heart attacks can present differently in men and women, and in people with certain diseases, like diabetes.
Heart attack symptoms could include:
- Chest discomfort, pain or pressure that radiates up to your jaw, your back and/or your left shoulder
- Bad indigestion or nausea
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling generally unwell
“Essentially anything from the belly button up,” says Dr. Khadijah Breathett, a heart failure transplant cardiologist and tenured associate professor of medicine at Indiana University. “Constant pressure should raise concern that you should see your doctor, and it’s OK if it’s something else. We’d rather have an individual come see a health care professional and get evaluated rather than toughing it out at home, because that is what contributes to the escalating risk of death.”
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Risk Factors Associated With An Elevated Heart Rate In Women
Certain risk factors can increase womens likelihood of an elevated heart rate. These include:
- Being over the age of 40
- Having a family history of heart disease
- Having high cholesterol
- Having diabetes
- Having high blood pressure
It is important to be aware of these risk factors and take steps to reduce them if possible.
Common Heart Attack Treatments
Youll find many common heart attack treatments listed here. For more detailed explanations of these treatments, see our page devoted to cardiac procedures.
- Angioplasty: Special tubing with an attached deflated balloon is threaded up to the coronary arteries.
- Angioplasty, Laser: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a laser tip that opens the blocked artery.
- Artificial heart valve surgery: Replaces an abnormal or diseased heart valve with a healthy one.
- Atherectomy: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a rotating shaver on its tip to cut away plaque from the artery.
- Treats blocked heart arteries by creating new passages for blood to flow to your heart muscle.
- Cardiomyoplasty: An experimental procedure in which skeletal muscles are taken from a patients back or abdomen.
- Heart transplant: Removes a diseased heart and replaces it with a donated healthy human heart.
- Minimally invasive heart surgery: An alternative to standard bypass surgery.
- Radiofrequency ablation: A catheter with an electrode at its tip is guided through the veins to the heart muscle to destroy carefully selected heart muscle cells in a very small area.
- Stent procedure: A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty.
- Transmyocardial revascularization : A laser is used to drill a series of holes from the outside of the heart into the hearts pumping chamber.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Disease
Although some women have no symptoms, others may have5
- Pain in the neck, jaw, or throat
- Pain in the upper abdomen or back
These symptoms may happen when you are resting or when you are doing regular daily activities. Women also may have other symptoms, including5
Sometimes heart disease may be silent and not diagnosed until you have other symptoms or emergencies, including5
- Heart attack: Chest pain or discomfort, upper back or neck pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea or vomiting, extreme fatigue, upper body discomfort, dizziness, and shortness of breath
- Arrhythmia: Fluttering feelings in the chest
- Heart failure: Shortness of breath, fatigue, or swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins
If you have any of these symptoms,
Heart Attack Symptoms In Women
If you have any of these signs, call 911 and get to a hospital right away.
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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
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.
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Heart Attack Symptoms: Women Vs Men
What do you think is the No. 1 cause of death of women in the United States?
Many people think its breast cancer, but thats not the right answer. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, accounting for 1 in 5 deaths each year. Cancerand thats all forms of cancer combined, not just breast cancercomes in second place.
Heart disease is traditionally thought of as a mans disease, which is one reason why many people dont know its the leading cause of death in American women. In fact, heart disease affects more women than men.
When anyone suffers a heart attack, getting immediate medical help is crucial in helping save that persons life. But women having a heart attack are more likely to experience different symptoms than the ones commonly portrayed on TV and in movies, such as crushing pain to the chest. For that reason, they may not realize they need to call 911.
Heres what you need to know about heart attack signs and symptoms:
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How To Get Checked Out
Men may not be aware they had an SMI until weeks or even months later when they see their doctor for a regular visit, or because of persistent symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, or heartburn.
SMI is usually detected from an electrocardiogram or echocardiogram, which can highlight heart muscle damage. Another method is a blood test for the molecular footprints of troponin T, a protein released by injured heart cells. That test is often used in emergency departments for patients with heart attack symptoms.
Once an SMI is diagnosed, your doctor can identify your main risk factors and help design a treatment strategy, including changing your diet, exercising regularly, and taking a statin as well as other medication to help prevent a second heart attack .
“If you do notice any symptoms of a SMI, do not brush them aside, even if you do not think they are serious,” says Dr. Plutzky. “Playing it safe is always a better move than risking the potential harmful downside.”
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Complications Of A Heart Attack
Complications of a heart attack can be serious and possibly life threatening.
- arrhythmias these are abnormal heartbeats. 1 type is where the heart begins beating faster and faster, then stops beating
- cardiogenic shock where the hearts muscles are severely damaged and can no longer contract properly to supply enough blood to maintain many body functions
- heart rupture where the hearts muscles, walls or valves split apart
These complications can happen quickly after a heart attack and are a leading cause of death.
Many people die suddenly from a complication of a heart attack before reaching hospital or within the 1st month after a heart attack.
The outlook often depends on:
- age serious complications are more likely as you get older
- the severity of the heart attack how much of the hearts muscle has been damaged during the attack
- how long it took before a person received treatment treatment for a heart attack should begin as soon as possible