Women: Heart Attack Recognition
Research on heart attacks has uncovered differing causes and risk factors between men and women. Symptoms, treatments, and cardiovascular conditions can be quite different for female patients.
Surveys have shown that many women do not fully understand their risk of heart disease. Many thought they were at higher risk of dying from breast cancer — even though, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for women.
Many women have a tendency to dismiss symptoms of heart attack, thinking the pain may be simple indigestion, or a muscle pull, or an anxiety attack.
What should women know about heart disease? A weakened heart muscle can lead to an attack, so understanding symptoms is important.
— Chest pain or discomfort; pain in the neck, jaw or throat; upper back pain; indigestion; heartburn; nausea and vomiting; extreme fatigue; upper body discomfort and shortness of breath. All of these may be warning signs of a heart attack.
— A fluttering feeling in the chest, which might mean that a woman is experiencing arrhythmia. Sometimes this feels like your heart is racing.
— Shortness of breath; fatigue; swelling of the feet, ankles, legs or abdomen, which might be signs of heart failure (a condition that happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs of the body).
— Stress and anxiety can increase the risk of heart attack. And it can be easy to dismiss heart attack symptoms due to being overworked and too busy. A heart attack can also strike young women.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164