What Are The Risk Factors For Heart Attack
Several health conditions, your lifestyle, and your age and family history can increase your risk for heart disease and heart attack. These are called risk factors. About half of all Americans have at least one of the three key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking.2
Some risk factors cannot be controlled, such as your age or family history. But you can take steps to lower your risk by changing the factors you can control.
Learn more about risk factors for heart disease and heart attack.
Do The Signs Of Heart Attack Change With Age
After you hit menopause, your body goes through a variety of changes. The hormone imbalance, night sweats, hot flushes, mood irritability, and constant stress further raises the risk of heart diseases.
But most importantly, the silent signs of heart attack in women over 40 are slightly different from younger women.
For example, they are less likely to experience chest pain as a symptom of heart blockage. Instead, theyd experience:
- Heart palpitations
If You Think You Could Be Having A Heart Attack Seek Care Immediately
Recognizing that something is really wrong can be as much about instinct as ticking off a symptoms list, especially when it comes to anything more subtle than severe chest pain, like sudden fatigue, indigestion, or jaw pain. You know your body, Dr. Tamis-Holland says. If it just doesnt feel rightyou need to consider that maybe it is a heart attack and you should call 911.
Its very important to call 911 instead of driving to the hospital . As the OWH explains, thats because getting treatment ASAP after a heart attack is vitalits more effective within the first hourand medics in the ambulance can start treating you right away before you even get to the emergency room.
Be ready to tell the operator that you think you are having a heart attack and your exact location, speaking as slowly and clearly as you can, the OWH recommends. Follow any directions, and stay on the phone with them until help arrives. For instance, they may ask about what medications you are on and tell you to take an aspirin or nitroglycerin pill if you have any on hand, the OWH says. Dr. Tamis-Holland says its generally okay to take an aspirin immediately, because it is safe for most people and can start to treat your heart attack ASAP while youre on your way to get the care you need.
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Indigestion Nausea And Vomiting
Often people begin experiencing mild indigestion and other gastrointestinal problems before a heart attack. Because heart attacks usually occur in older people who typically have more indigestion problems, these symptoms can get dismissed as heartburn or another food-related complication.
If you normally have an iron stomach, indigestion or heartburn could be a signal that something else is going on.
Symptoms Of Stroke In Women
Strokes are not as common as heart attacks, but can come on without warning. Here are signs that a stroke may be occurring:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Its worth noting that in some women symptoms of heart problems, like palpitations, chills or faintness, may actually be symptoms of perimenopause. However, if you are experiencing these symptoms, you should see your healthcare practitioner.
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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.
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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Gender Diversity And Common Emergency Symptoms
People who identify as trans, non-binary or gender diverse may wonder which symptoms they should be on the lookout for in an emergency. You should always talk to your doctor about your specific situation and medical history to get their advice and an assessment of your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. As a general rule, if the symptom is unusual, severe, or long-lasting you should seek medical attention early. If you think you could be having a heart attack or stroke, call triple zero for an ambulance immediately, even if you dont think you have stereotypical symptoms.
Monday 25 October 2021
Did you know that common emergency symptoms can differ for men and women? Often chest pain is thought to be the most common symptom for a heart attack and it is common in men. However, only about half of all women who have a heart attack actually report having chest pain.
Early treatment is critical for both heart attacks and strokes, two of Australias biggest killers. Knowing the common emergency symptoms and seeking immediate medical attention could save your life or save your loved one.
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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.
What You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease
You may already know many of the risk factors for heart disease, such as family history, weight gain around the middle, smoking and high blood pressure. But there are other lesser-known risk factors that are also important. Heres what to do about them:
A note about declining estrogen in menopause. After the age of 55, your risk of heart attack increases greatly, especially if youve gone through menopause. This may be because of estrogen’s protective effects on the inner lining of the blood vessels when estrogen declines, so does the health of the blood vessel walls. But, hormone replacement therapy carries risks too. The Womens Health Initiative showed that both equine-based and synthetic hormone replacement therapies increase heart disease risk in postmenopausal women.
You may also notice that other risk factors increase around menopause. This is more likely if youve had less than healthy diet and lifestyle habits in the past and thats most of us! But remember, you can still do so much to reduce your risk going forward.
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How Men And Women Experience Heart Attack
Women and men can experience the signs and symptoms of a heart attack differently.
Men may experience:
- shortness of breath
Although chest pain is thought to be the most common symptom of heart attack and it is common in men only about half of all women who have a heart attack actually report chest pain.
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.
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A Different Kind Of Heart Attack
If you have mild symptoms, they may be caused by a silent heart attack. These heart attacks are less likely to cause symptoms. Often, you may not know youve had one until days or even weeks later.
Theyre more common in women, particularly women under 65.
To identify whether youve had one, your doctor may perform an electrocardiogram, also called an EKG or ECG. This non-invasive test uses small sensors attached to your chest and arms to record your hearts electrical activity.
If testing does detect a silent heart attack, your doctor may suggest treatments like medication or cardiac rehab.
Early Menopause Signs To Watch Out For As Women Warned Of Heart Disease Risk
The age when a woman enters the menopause could be a major indicator when it comes to having heart problems later in life
Women who enter menopause when they are 40 or younger are at an increasingly higher risk of having major heart problems later in life, says a new study. The Korean research, which was published in the European Heart Journal, looked at over 1.4 million women with premature menopause.
It found a startling 33% increased risk of heart failure and 9% higher risk of an irregular heart rhythm compared to women who entered menopause at a normal range. It means the timing of your menopause could be a major indicator when it comes to having heart problems later in life, the Mirror reports.
Other findings from the study included:
- Heart health risks increased as women experienced menopause earlier in life, compared to those who went into menopause after 50.
- Risk of heart failure was 39% higher among women who entered menopause younger than 40, 23% higher for women 40 to 44, and 11% higher for women 45 to 49.
- Risk of atrial fibrillation was 11% higher for women younger than 40, 10% higher for women 40 to 44, and 4% higher for women 45 to 49.
Heart attack symptoms differ between men and women, with women experiencing more shortness of breath and light-headedness compared to men.
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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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Attack
The major symptoms of a heart attack are
- Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
- Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.
Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms. Learn more about women and heart disease.
Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.1Learn more facts about heart attack and heart disease.
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Go After Heart Health With All Your Heart
Since heart disease is the No. 1 cause of premature death among Canadian women, heart health should be at the top of everyones mind. Hopefully some of the tips and symptoms weve provided can help put your mind at ease, help you be more proactive about your heart health, and encourage you to get medical help as soon as you feel you need it.
At Manulife, weve put our hearts into womens heart health, as a founding partner of Heart & Strokes Womens Initiative, which raises awareness and donations for equitable heart research. Since the beginning of our partnership in 2019, weve helped Heart & Stroke raise over $5 million for this important cause. We hope you put all of your heart into your heart health, too!
Heart Attack Symptoms Are They Different For Men And Women
Three minute read
Every year, more than one million people in the U.S. suffer from a heart attack. This means every 40 seconds someone in the US experiences congestive heart failure. Although heart disease death rates have fallen steadily for men, the rates for women have decreased only slightly.
Why is there such a discrepancy between men and women? A lot of it has to do with the variances in symptoms of heart attacks for each gender.
Difference in heart attack symptoms for men and women
Chest tightening, sweating and pain in the shoulder and arm are the most well-known symptoms of a heart attack. For years, many believed these were the only symptoms to look out for, but as we learn more about cardiovascular disease, we find that there are significant differences in how men and women experience a heart attack.
Warning signs in men
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for men. In fact, 1 in every 4 males die from a heart attack. Men also experience heart attacks earlier in life compared to women. Men exhibit the following symptoms during a heart attack:
- Chest pain/tightening that feels like an elephant sitting on your chest. Also, a squeezing sensation that comes and goes or remains constant
- Upper body pain in the arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Rapid heartbeats
- Cold sweat
Warning signs in women
Women are less likely to seek treatment
What to do if you think youre having a heart attack
Schedule regular check-ups
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What Are The Types Of Heart Attacks
You might experience any of the following 4 types of heart attacks:
This is the most dangerous form of heart attack caused when the main artery in your heart gets blocked and stops blood flow.
The damage from NSTEMI is comparatively less than STEMI but its still quite risky. It occurs when your arteries are partially blocked.
- Coronary Artery Spasm
Also known as unstable angina, luckily, this type of heart attack doesnt cause lasting damage.
Sometimes, one of your heart arteries might suddenly constrict and become narrow because of a plaque deposit. As a result, there may be a brief period when the blood flow in the heart stops and causes muscle spasms.
Although it isnt deadly, its still one of the early warning signs of heart attack in women.
This is a mini heart attack. Ischemia is rarely intense and instead, shows various symptoms of heart diseases over some time.
Why Choose The Hospitals Of Providence For Your Early Heart Attack Care
The Hospitals of Providence has EHAC teams who genuinely care about you and your loved ones. Our hospitals are located across El Paso to provide accessible care to the communities in this city and nearby areas. At the same time, we have received multiple recognitions for the compassionate care and patient-centered cardiovascular services we offer.
Some of the accreditations and recognitions we received in recent years are as follows:
For Sierra Campus
- Chest Pain Reaccreditation by the Society of Cardiovascular Care
- ACC HeartCARE Center Designation by the American College of Cardiology
- Grade A rating for patient safety in the Leapfrog Groups Fall 2019 Safety Score
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