What Is A Silent Heart Attack
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 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.
- Is more likely to happen in women with . Diabetes can change how you sense pain, making you less likely to notice heart attack symptoms.
You Get Exhausted Easily
If you suddenly feel fatigued or winded after doing something you had no problem doing in the past — like climbing the stairs or carrying groceries from the car — make an appointment with your doctor right away.
“These types of significant changes are more important to us than every little ache and pain you might be feeling,” Bufalino says.
Extreme exhaustion or unexplained weakness, sometimes for days at a time, can be a symptom of heart disease, especially for women.
How Do You Prevent A Heart Attack
Can a heart attack be avoided?
Theres no black and white answer. Following a healthy lifestyle is the key to staying safe from symptoms of heart attack.
Here are a few health tips you could try to avoid :
- Exercise daily:
A regular fitness routine is a foundation of staying healthy. At a minimum, start with a daily brisk walk. Step out, breathe in the fresh air, use those muscles, and get active.
- Eat nutritious meals:
Include more veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean meat , lentils, and low-fat dairy items in your diet. Cut down on added sugars, processed products, and foods with high trans/saturated fats.
- Manage your stress levels:
Practice self-care daily to prevent excessive stress. Start journaling, aromatherapy, afternoon bath, art therapy, or music therapy to get rid of anxiety.
- Reduce your alcohol intake:
Alcohol addiction is among the major causes of heart blockage in females. Only drink occasionally or limit to one drink per day.
- Avoid smoking:
Seriously, quit smoking! It causes more harm than good, particularly to your respiratory system and arteries. Smoking is the leading cause of plaque formation, which results in several silent signs of heart attack in women.
Did you find this info useful? I hope you learned the many warning signs of female heart attacks that are often missed.;
Do you have any daily healthy practices to reduce heart attack in your body? Share with me in the comments below.
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Factors That Increase Heart Attack Risk At 40 And 50
There are many factors that increase the risk of a heart attack in women aged 40 to 50. One factor is known as SCAD . This occurs when the innermost three layers of the arteries tear spontaneously, which causes a clot or flap that narrows blood flow or blocks it completely. Factors that increase a womans risk of SCAD include hormonal changes, such as those found in pregnancy or menopause, and women with connective tissue disorders like noncoronary fibromuscular dysplasia.
Symptoms of SCAD are very similar to those of a heart attack and its best you seek out immediate medical attention when you experience these symptoms to rule out SCAD or a heart attack. Both are very dangerous and the sooner they are caught, the better the outcome can be.
Treatment is different between SCAD and a heart attack. For example, a stent is very effective at treating a heart attack but not nearly as effective at treating SCAD. Your doctor will need to determine if a stent is useful in the treatment of SCAD or not.
As mentioned, menopause plays a large contributing factor to the risk of a heart attack in women. Particularly, women who experience early menopause are at an even greater risk. Research findings uncovered that women who experience menopause between 40 and 45 are at a higher risk for a heart attack than those who undergo menopause later in life.
Womens Signs Of Heart Attack
The most common heart attack sign is chest pain or discomfort; however, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure. 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.
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Symptoms Of A Heart Attack In Men
Youre more likely to experience a heart attack if youre a man. 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.
Fortunately, a lot of research has been done on how mens hearts react during heart attacks.
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 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
Its important to remember, however, that each heart attack is different. Your symptoms may not fit this cookie-cutter description. Trust your instincts if you think something is wrong.
In recent decades, scientists have realized that heart attack symptoms can be quite different for women than for men.
Symptoms of heart attack in women include:
In a 2012 survey published in the journal Circulation, only 65 percent of women said theyd call 911 if they thought they might be having a heart attack.
Your Legs Feet And Ankles Are Swollen
This could be a sign that your heart doesnât pump blood as effectively as it should.
When the heart can’t pump fast enough, blood backs up in the veins and causes bloating.
Heart failure can also make it harder for the kidneys to remove extra water and sodium from the body, which can lead to bloating.
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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.
Major Risk Factors That You Cant Change
Increasing age:;The older you are, the more likely you are to have a heart attack. The largest age group who die of heart disease are 65 and over.
Male gender: More men have heart attacks than women.
Heredity: If a childs parent has heart disease, then its more likely theyll develop heart disease as well.
African-Americans have, on average, higher blood pressure and are at greater risk of heart disease.
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Recognize The Signs Seek Medical Treatment
Recognizing the signs and seeking treatment is the first step. Understanding your risk factors, such as a family history, is also important to staying in tune with changes in your health.
Women need to understand their risks, Dr. Mieres said. Eighty percent of heart disease is preventable.
Learn more about heart disease:
Sometimes My Heart Beats Really Fast And Other Times It Feels Like My Heart Skips A Beat Am I Having A Heart Attack
Most people have changes in their heartbeat from time to time. These changes in heartbeat are, for most people, harmless. As you get older, you’re more likely to have heartbeats that feel different. Don’t panic if you have a few flutters or if your heart races once in a while. If you have flutters and other symptoms such as dizziness or shortness of breath , call 911.
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Does Menopausal Hormone Therapy Increase A Woman’s Risk For Heart Disease
Menopausal hormone therapy can help with some symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and bone loss, but there are risks, too. For some women, taking hormones can increase their chances of having a heart attack or stroke. If you decide to use hormones, use them at the lowest dose that helps for the shortest time needed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about MHT.
How To Treat A Heart Attack
Despite men and women experiencing different heart attack symptoms, treatment of cardiovascular disease is just as effective in both sexes.
When women get the same treatment as men consistently, they also benefit from the same mortality reduction. Women do just as well with stents as men; they do just as well with the angioplasty as men. Early, aggressive treatment is equally as important.
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One Woman’s Heart Attack Story
In 1991, I went to the ER with chest pains twice in one week. They said it was ulcers . Then the pain became very intense. Again, the ER said there was nothing they could do. I refused to leave and was admitted for observation. Later, the doctor on duty saw my EKG and asked, “Where’s the 34-year-old who had the massive heart attack?” I had emergency surgery. However, the damage was done, and only part of my heart muscle functions. I had to quit a job I loved, and my life is completely changed. They thought I was too young to have a heart attack.
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.
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Major Risk Factors You Can Control
Smoking: Research shows that smoking increases your risk of heart attack. In fact, even people who inhale second-hand smoke are an increased risk.
High blood cholesterol: Higher cholesterol score is correlated as having higher chances of heart attack.
A low-density-lipoprotein is considered good for your heart health.
Keep in mind that a diet high in trans fats and saturated fats can increase your LDL cholesterol.
The other kind of cholesterol is high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol.
Higher levels are better. Low levels put you at greater risk of heart disease.
Smoking and being overweight can result in lower HDL cholesterol.
Triglycerides: These are the most common type of fat in the body, and a high triglyceride level combined with a low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol is associated with atherosclerosis.
High blood pressure: Having high blood pressure puts more pressure on the heart making it worker harder.
This can increase your risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure.
Physical inactivity: An inactive lifestyle can be a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease.
Regular, moderate exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Obesity and being overweight: Excess body weight means the heart works harder to push blood around the body.
This can often co-occur with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
What Is Heart Disease
Heart disease in women includes a number of problems affecting the heart and the blood vessels in the heart. Types of heart disease include:
Coronary artery disease is the most common type and is the leading cause of heart attacks. When you have CAD, your arteries become hard and narrow. Blood has a hard time getting to the heart, so the heart does not get all the blood it needs. CAD can lead to:
- Angina .Angina is chest pain or discomfort that happens when the heart does not get enough blood. It may feel like a pressing or squeezing pain, often in the chest, but sometimes the pain is in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. It can also feel like indigestion . Angina is not a heart attack, but having angina means you are more likely to have a heart attack.
- Heart attack. A heart attack occurs when an artery is severely or completely blocked, and the heart does not get the blood it needs for more than 20 minutes.
Heart failure occurs when the heart is not able to pump blood through the body as well as it should. This means that other organs, which normally get blood from the heart, do not get enough blood. It does not mean that the heart stops. Signs of heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in feet, ankles, and legs
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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
- 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.
Tightening Of The Throat
On its own, throat pain could be anything from strep throat to the common cold. However, there are instances in which a tightening of the throat is an indication of something more serious, like a heart attack. As survivor Dawn describes it, when you experience the serious symptom, it’s as if your throat “feels ‘full.'” “I was asleep and woke up not being able to breathe,” she says. “I never had any chest pain at all until six months AFTER my heart attack.”
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Impact Of Aging On A Womans Heart
As women age, their risk of dying from heart disease increases. A womans chance of suffering a heart attack doubles between the ages of 60 and 79, and doubles again once they hit 80. The risk of a heart attack being fatal increases significantly every ten years for women, and the higher risk almost always begins after menopause.
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 is the single biggest killer of women worldwide. 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. 35,000 women are admitted to hospital following a heart attack each year in the UK – an average of 98 women per day, or 4 per hour.;
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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. It’s 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.
What Can I Do To Recover After A Heart Attack
Take our quizexternal icon 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
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