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.
When To See A Doctor
The British Heart Foundation recommend all women over 40 years of age have regular checks with their doctor. This helps identify risk factors early so that they can be treated. Early intervention reduces the chances of a cardiac event.
Anyone who notices the warning signs of a heart attack, such as the following, should see a doctor immediately:
- unusual fatigue
- shortness of breath
- upper body pain
A doctor will note symptoms, check blood pressure and heart rate, and may order blood tests or use an electrocardiogram to see the hearts electrical activity.
Only 65 percent of women would call emergency services if they suspected they were having a heart attack, according to a 2012 survey.
Emergency treatment can save lives. Anyone noticing the following symptoms should call an ambulance immediately, especially if the signs are present for 5 minutes or more:
- chest pain or discomfort
- pain in the upper body, including arms, back, neck, jaw, or shoulder
- difficulty breathing
Catch The Signs Early
Dont wait to get help if you experience any of these heart attack warning signs. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your body and call 911 if you experience:
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs. Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
Download the common heart attack warning signs infographic |
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Check Your Blood Pressure
Experts recommend that you have your blood pressure checked any time you see your see a healthcare provider, including visits to an OB/GYN provider.
High blood pressure is one of a group of symptoms called metabolic syndrome that also includes high cholesterol, high triglycerides , increased waist circumference, insulin resistance, and obesity.
How To Identify Female Heart Attack Symptoms
This article was co-authored by David Nazarian, MD. Dr. David Nazarian is a board certified Internal Medicine Physician and the Owner of My Concierge MD, a medical practice in Beverly Hills California, specializing in concierge medicine, executive health and integrative medicine. Dr. Nazarian specializes in comprehensive physical examinations, IV Vitamin therapies, hormone replacement therapy, weight loss, platelet rich plasma therapies. He has over 16 years of medical training and facilitation and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He completed his B.S. in Psychology and Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, his M.D. from the Sackler School of Medicine, and a residency at Huntington Memorial Hospital, an affiliate of the University of Southern California.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 67,485 times.
Like men, women will usually feel a pressure or tightness in their chest when they are experiencing a heart attack. But women also often experience some of the other, less well-known symptoms of a heart attack, and in fact are more likely to die from a heart attack than men, due to misdiagnosis or delayed treatment. Because of this, it is important to know what symptoms to look out for if you are a woman. If you think that you are having a heart attack, for help right away.
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Living With A Heart Attack
After youve had a heart attack, you are at higher risk of having another one. Your doctor will likely recommend heart-healthy lifestyle changes to help reduce your risk. They include:
- Maintaining a heart-healthy diet.
- Being physically active.
- Quitting smoking.
Symptoms during a second heart attack may be different than the first one. If you have any new symptoms of heart attack or are in any doubt, call 911. Early treatment is the key to surviving a heart attack.
Heart Attack Risk Factors For Women
There are several factors that increase your chance of developing heartdisease. Almost 50% of all Americans have at least one of three major riskfactors for the condition:
- High blood pressure: Women can develop high blood pressure as a side effect of birth control pills or during pregnancy. All women over 65 are more likely than men are to have high blood pressure.
- High cholesterol: Estrogen seems to protect women against unhealthy levels of cholesterol. But after menopause, estrogen levels drop and high cholesterol becomes more likely.
- Smoking: Although men are slightly more likely to smoke, the gap in cigarette usage between genders is smaller than ever and women are less likely to be able to quit successfully.
Additional risk factors include:
- Excessive alcohol use
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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,
Early Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
The sooner you get help for a heart attack, the better your chances for a complete recovery. Unfortunately, many people hesitate to get help, even if they suspect theres something wrong.
Doctors, however, overwhelmingly encourage people to get help if they suspect theyre experiencing early heart attack symptoms.
Even if youre wrong, going through some testing is better than suffering long-term heart damage or other health issues because you waited too long.
Heart attack symptoms vary from person to person and even from one heart attack to another. The important thing is to trust yourself. You know your body better than anyone. If something feels wrong, get emergency care right away.
According to the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, early heart attack symptoms occur in 50 percent of all people who have heart attacks. If youre aware of the early symptoms, you may be able get treatment quickly enough to prevent heart damage.
Eighty-five percent of heart damage happens in the first two hours following a heart attack.
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
- pain in your shoulders, neck, and jaw
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These Are The 10 Symptoms Of Heart Attack In Women
Now a days cardiac arrest is very common in young adult. Even 40 age is very crucial for both men and women. Specifically, females are nowadays becoming the victim of heart diseases due to excessive pressure and lots of responsibilities.
If we understand the early signs and the risk factors of the heart attack then we can save lots of life.
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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Sharp Pain In The Upper Body Neck Back And Jaw
This symptom can be localized as pain in both arms, back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or upper stomach . Complicated right? Hence, this type of discomfort is often associated with bone pain, osteoporosis, for example, so common in women.
That is, not much attention is paid to this signal. It is thought to be just tiredness or simple bone pain, and can be reduced with an anti-inflammatory.
But never overlook it. As the Spanish Heart Foundation also reaffirms, pain in the back, neck or jaw is a more common heart attack symptom in women than in men.
Symptoms Of Heart Attack
If you have any of these signs, call 911 and get to a hospital right away.
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or chest pain are all possible symptoms. It lasts more than a few minutes or disappears then reappears.
- Back, neck, jaw, or stomach pain or discomfort in one or both limbs.
- Shortness of breath that may or may not is accompanied by chest pain or discomfort.
- Other symptoms include a chilly sweat, nausea, and lightheadedness.
The most frequent symptoms of heart attack include chest pain or discomfort, much as in males. However, several of the other frequent symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw discomfort, are more prevalent in women than in males. There are two kinds of symptoms to predict the heart attack in women, symptoms before a heart attack and symptoms during a heart attack. Symptoms of heart attack are fatigue, weakness, short breathing, chest pain, sweating, upper body pain, sleep disorders, and stomach problems which can indicate the possibilities of a heart attack in women. While squeezing, fullness or chest pain, pain in arms, nausea and joint pain occurs when youre suffering from a heart attack.
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Take Care Of Yourself
Heart disease is preventable. Here are Goldbergs top tips:
- Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to learn your personal risk for heart disease.
- Quit smoking. Did you know that just one year after you quit, youll cut your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent?
- Start an exercise program. Just walking 30 minutes a day can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Modify your familys diet if needed. Check out these healthy cooking tips. Youll learn smart substitutions, healthy snacking ideas and better prep methods. For example, with poultry, use the leaner light meat instead of the fattier dark meat , and be sure to remove the skin.
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 Is A Cardiac Rehabilitation Program
Before you leave the hospital, your doctor may talk to you about a cardiac rehabilitation program. These programs provide information that will help you understand your risk factors. It will help you live a healthy lifestyle that can prevent future heart problems. You will learn about exercise and diet, and how to reach and maintain a healthy weight. You will also learn ways to control your stress level, your blood pressure, and your cholesterol levels.
Your cardiac rehabilitation program will probably start while you are still in the hospital. After you leave the hospital, your rehabilitation will continue in a rehab center. The rehab center may be at the hospital or in another location.
Most cardiac rehabilitation programs last 3 to 6 months. Your doctor will talk to you about how often you need to attend the program. Once you enroll in a cardiac rehabilitation program, regular attendance is important. The more lifestyle changes you make, the better your chances of preventing future heart problems.
The sooner you get medical help, the greater your chances of surviving a heart attack. Do not delay getting immediate medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms of heart attack.
Symptoms Of Womens Heart Attacks
A heart attack is a potentially fatal disturbance of the hearts blood flow. These signs may help someone seek medical assistance sooner, perhaps saving their life.
Women have a lower first-time survival rate than males. This may be because the symptoms vary by gender. Unusual symptoms or a silent heart attack affect women more. Some disorders that raise risk, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome , are not present in male biology.
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Seek Care For Subtle Symptoms
After two hours without treatment following a heart attack, youre much more at risk of severe heart damage and death.
At the emergency room, its vital that you mention all of the symptoms you have, even if they might not seem related, such as unexplained pain in your extremities. If you experience a cluster of heart attack symptoms and explain only some of them at the hospital, its possible the doctor wont connect the dots that youre having a heart attack.
Many of my patients are women who havent previously had heart troubles in their lives. Theyre surprised when I describe subtle heart attack symptoms that sound like what theyve experienced, especially if they have seen another doctor who didnt recognize that something was wrong.
As cardiologists, we need to listen carefully when women describe their symptoms and do a better job of matching their subjective experience with the standard symptoms of heart attacks. No one should suffer debilitating consequences from a heart attack because she experienced nontraditional symptoms. If youre concerned about your heart health, request an appointment with a cardiologist.
If you feel fine but then develop a cluster of sudden, unexplained symptoms, seek emergency medical attention. Less severe symptoms dont mean a less severe heart attack.
Do Women Do Worse Than Men After A Heart Attack
Yes. In all age groups, women do worse than men after a heart attack. Researchers are not sure why this is, especially for younger women.
- Women between 45 and 65 who have a heart attack are more likely than men of the same age to die within a year of a heart attack. However, heart attack is less common in younger women than in younger men. This is partly because the hormone estrogen protects against heart disease in younger women.
- Women older than 65 are more likely than men of the same age to die within a few weeks of a heart attack. Women usually have heart attacks about 10 years later than men. The average age of a first heart attack for men is 64, but it is 72 for women.
Many women who have had a heart attack go on to lead full, active lives. Know the and if you have any symptoms. Take after a heart attack and prevent another heart attack.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Is there a test I can take to see if my arteries or blocked so I know if Im at risk of a having a heart attack?
- What is the likely cause of my heart attack?
- How serious was my heart attack?
- What course of treatment do you recommend? Do I need medicine? Surgery?
- Do I need to participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program?
- When can I return to normal physical and sexual activity?
- What is my risk of having another heart attack?
- Are my family members at an increased risk of heart attack?
- Do I need to take medicine to prevent another heart attack?
- Will the medicine interact with any of the medicine I already take?
- What lifestyle changes should I make at home to prevent another heart attack?
- Can sexual activity cause a heart attack?
Heart Attack Treatment For Women
The treatment for heart attack in women is the same as it is for men.
A recent study in the United Kingdom showed that women having a heart attack were 50% more likely than men to be misdiagnosed, leading to a delay in treatment and poorer outcomes. However there is no evidence to show that the same is true for New Zealand women.
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Causes Of A Heart Attack
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of heart attacks.
CHD is a condition in which the major blood vessels that supply the heart get clogged with deposits of cholesterol, known as plaques.
Before a heart attack, 1 of the plaques bursts , causing a blood clot to develop at the site of the rupture.
The clot may block the supply of blood to the heart, triggering a heart attack.