Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Woman Symptoms Of Heart Attack

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What Is Heart Disease

Mayo Clinic Minute: Women’s heart attack symptoms vary

Heart disease affects both sexes but often goes undetected in women. Although more men than women are admitted to hospital for heart attack, the number of deaths from heart attack in men and in women is roughly the same.

Cardiovascular disease often called ‘heart disease’ is an umbrella term that includes diseases and conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels.

These include coronary heart disease , heart failure, arrhythmias, angina and others.

CHD is a common cause of heart attack, which occurs when blood supply to the heart is suddenly interrupted. The heart needs a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood delivered by the coronary arteries. If this is stopped, the heart muscle can get damaged and begin to die.

When Should I See My Doctor

  • get worse quickly, or
  • last longer than 10 minutes
  • If calling triple zero does not work on your mobile, try calling 112. Early treatment could save a life.

    See your doctor regularly to manage your general health, test for heart disease risk factors and help you take steps to prevent a heart attack.

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    Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Attack

    If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 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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    What Should I Do If I Have Heart Attack Symptoms

    If you think you, or someone else, may be having a heart attack, call 911 right away. Do not drive yourself to the hospital, and do not let a friend drive you. You may need medical help on the way to the hospital. Ambulance workers are trained to treat you on the way to the emergency room.

    Getting to the hospital quickly is important. Treatments for opening clogged arteries work best within the first hour after a heart attack starts.

    If you think you’re having a heart attack, get emergency help right away. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are overreacting or to wait and see. Get tips on how best to describe your symptoms and how to ask for tests that can show whether you’re having a heart attack.

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    Healthy habits to prevent heart disease in women

    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 Womens 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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    Women And Heart Disease

    The term heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions, including coronary artery disease and heart attack.

    Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a mans disease, almost as many women as men die each year of heart disease in the United States.

    This map shows death rates from heart disease in women in the United States. The darker red indicates a higher death rate.

    The map shows that concentrations of counties with the highest heart disease death rates meaning the top quintile are located primarily in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Pockets of high-rate counties also were found in Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, Texas, Nevada, and Montana.

    Source: Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke

    What Types Of Heart Disease Do Women Get

    Women can get any type of heart disease. Like men, the most common type of heart disease among women is coronary artery disease. But there are certain types of heart disease which are less common, but affect women more often than men:

    • Coronary microvascular disease – Chest pain from spasms in the smallest arteries of the heart that pinch off blood flow. It typically happens during rest or routine activities. This serious condition increases your risk of having a heart attack or other heart diseases. This type may be harder to diagnose since blockages in smaller arteries can be harder to see on imaging tests.
    • Broken heart syndrome – Strong chest pain or other signs that look like a heart attack. It’s caused by the stress of powerful emotions, such as deep grief, anger, or surprise. It can happen even if you’re healthy. It mostly affects women after menopause and usually doesn’t cause any lasting damage.
    • Variant angina – A rare type of strong chest pain from spasms in the heart arteries. The pain usually happens in a pattern during sleep. Variant angina rarely causes a heart attack.

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    When To Seek Further Consultation

    If you develop any symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, or lightheadedness, you should go to the emergency room or call an ambulance. A heart attack is a dangerous condition that needs to be treated emergently. The physician can order tests to determine if you are experiencing a heart attack and then offer the appropriate treatment.

    Causes And Risk Factors

    Heart Attack Signs for Women

    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.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Disease For Women

    There tends to be a common misconception when it comes to the symptoms associated with heart disease in women. These symptoms can vary from those in men, so its important that women take the steps to understand the symptoms unique to them.

    Only one in three women will experience typical heart attack symptoms such as pain in the centre of the chest. This can be severe, but can alternatively be described as uncomfortable pressure, squeezing or fullness which can last for a few minutes, go away, and then comes back.

    Heart Attack Testing: Faq

    Q: Why do I have to submit to a bunch of tests?A: Tests help the doctor determine if a heart attack occurred, how much your heart was damaged and what degree of coronary artery disease you might have. The tests screen your heart and help the doctor determine what treatment and lifestyle changes will keep your heart healthy and prevent serious future medical events.

    Q: Whats the difference between invasive and non-invasive tests?A: Non-invasive cardiac tests measure your hearts activity through external imaging and electrocardiography. Invasive tests include drawing and testing samples of your blood, and inserting and threading a thin hollow tube called a catheter into a blood vessel to get an inside view.

    Q: How can I learn more about the tests that may be performed?A: These diagnostic tests and procedures can reveal if you had a heart attack, how much damage was done and what degree of coronary artery disease you have.

    Q: What types of treatment will I get after the hospital diagnoses my heart attack?A: If youve had a heart attack, you may have already had undergone certain procedures to help you survive your heart attack. Those same procedures can help to diagnose your condition. Such procedures include:

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    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

    How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Heart Disease

    Heart attack symptoms women should not ignore (infographic)  Welcome ...

    To lower your chances of getting heart disease, its important to do the following:7

    • Know your blood pressure. Having uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart disease. High blood pressure has no symptoms, so its important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Learn more about high blood pressure.
    • Talk to your doctor or health care team about whether you should be tested for diabetes. Having uncontrolled diabetes raises your risk of heart disease.8 Learn more about diabetes.
    • Quit smoking. If you dont smoke, dont start. If you do smoke, learn ways to quit.
    • Discuss checking your blood cholesterol and triglycerides with your doctor. Learn more about cholesterol.
    • Make healthy food choices. Having overweight or obesity raises your risk of heart disease. Learn more about overweight and obesity.
    • Limit how much alcohol you drink to one drink a day. Learn more about alcohol.
    • Manage stress levels by finding healthy ways to cope with stress. Learn more about coping with stress.

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    Heart Disease Is The Leading Cause Of Death For Women In Australia And Globally

    Heart disease includes any condition that affects the normal functioning of the heart, and includes coronary artery disease that causes heart attacks, arrhythmias, heart failure and heart valve problems.

    It is too often perceived as a common illness among middle-aged men, but in fact, the risk of heart problems increases significantly once women reach menopause.

    In fact, there are some heart diseases, such as SCAD and FMD, which affect women more than they do men.

    Risk Factors For Heart Attack In Women

    In addition to knowing key heart attack symptoms, its also important to know if you have risk factors for heart disease. Many women arent aware that theyre at risk for heart attack, explains Dr. Lee. So when they start having symptoms, they dont even consider that its a warning sign.

    Common risk factors for women include:

    • Certain medical conditions. Women are at higher risk for heart disease if they have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or an inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
    • Pregnancy complications. Women who had pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, or preeclampsia are at higher risk for a heart attack later in life.
    • Smoking. Research shows that smoking can increase the risk of heart attack for young people.3 And female smokers are 25% more likely to have heart disease than male smokers.3
    • Lifestyle choices. Poor diet, overuse of alcohol, and physical inactivity all increase a womans risk for heart attack.
    • Menopause. Lower levels of estrogen after menopause can increase the risk of heart attack for women.

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    When To Call 911

    If you suspect that you or someone else might be having a heart attack, call 911 or local emergency services right away. Immediate treatment can be lifesaving.

    Long-term follow-up care is also important to improve outcomes.

    Heart attack causes damage to your heart muscle, which can lead to potentially life threatening complications. Although more research is needed, some complications appear to be more common in women than men.

    According to a 2016 review from the AHA, women are more likely than men to develop symptoms of heart failure following a heart attack. They also have a higher risk of death in the months and years following a heart attack.

    The review found that 26 percent of women and 19 percent of men die within 1 year following a first heart attack, and 47 percent of women and 36 percent of men die within 5 years.

    Some for these gender differences include:

    • There may be a delay in recognizing womens symptoms.
    • Women may be undertreated.

    What You Can Do Now To Prevent An Early Heart Attack

    Women’s Heart Attack Symptoms

    Although some risk factors are beyond your control, there are many thingsyou can do to protect your heart health. Itâs 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.

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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 Or Something Else

    Although a heart attack may be the first thing that comes to mind, other common medical conditions can cause similar symptoms.

    Dr. Vaishnav notes these conditions can mimic a heart attack:

    • Musculoskeletal pain
    • Pulmonary embolism
    • Emotional stress

    If you’re having symptoms, even minor ones, talk to your doctor or head to the nearest emergency room.

    Wed much rather you get checked and be fine, Dr. Vaishnav says.

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    Can Heart Disease In Women Be Prevented

    You can help lower your risk by:

    • Learning how to prevent heart disease and making heart-healthy habits part of your daily life.
    • Asking your provider about your personal risk for heart disease and the best way to manage your heart health.

    Remember, women can have heart disease without symptoms. But if you pay attention to your risk for heart disease, you can take action to prevent problems or keep them from getting worse.

    NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

    Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

    A Womans Heart Attack: Why and How It Is Different than a Mans Heart ...

    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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    Understand Your Risk Of Heart Disease

    Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women and men. But both heart attacks and heart disease can appear differently in women than in men. This disparity means that women are more likely to have undiagnosed heart conditions, and they may not even know when theyre at risk for heart attack.

    If youre a woman, its important to educate yourself about your heart health. Risk factors that increase your chances of heart disease and heart attack include:

    Heart disease is common, but its preventable in many cases. Our team is dedicated to helping you strengthen your heart and live your healthiest life.

    We partner with you, evaluating your medical history, family history, and current condition to propose a heart-healthy plan thats right for you. Managing pre-existing conditions and making a range of healthy lifestyle choices can make a big difference for your heart and help reduce your risk of heart attack.

    Trust your heart health to our team at NJ Cardiovascular Institute. To learn more about the risks of heart disease and how to spot a heart attack, book an appointment at one of our offices in Newark, Secaucus, or Paramus, New Jersey. Use the online scheduler or give us a call.

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