Heart attack can be different from men and women
Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in both men and women worldwide. A heart attack strikes someone about every 43 seconds in the world.
What is the cause of a heart attack?
A blocked artery is a major cause of heart attacks, it’s hardly the only one in women. Acute myocardial infarction, which is most commonly called a heart attack, simply means that the blood flow to the heart’s own blood vessels is cut off so that heart muscle cells die due to inadequate blood supply.
“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 NYU’s Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer.(source)
Symptoms vary between men and women
As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain (angina) 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.
Some women experiencing a heart attack describe upper back pressure that feels like squeezing or a rope being tied around them.
Symptoms of heart attack can some times be easily mistaken for another ailment (think nausea, heartburn, and fatigue). Identifying the early signs of a heart attack and seeking early intervention can be the difference between life or death.
Here are the most common symptoms to look out for women.
Uncomfortable pressure on chest:
The very first symptom of a heart attack listed by the American Heart Association is “uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest.”
It may be described as:
Some 29.7 percent of the women surveyed in the 2003 study experienced chest discomfort in the weeks before the attack. Also, 57 percent had chest pain during the heart attack.(source)
This is due to the decreased blood supply to the body and the brain, as the weakened heart muscle failed to work hard to keep the body needs of the blood supply to the brain leading to the dizziness and some times people tend to loose balance and fall.
Weakness and fatigue:
Feeling weak or shaky is a common acute symptom of a heart attack in a female.
This weakness or shaking may be accompanied by:
- feeling lightheaded
Feeling cold and clammy can also be an indicator of heart problems. Excessive sweating without a normal cause is another common heart attack symptom in women.
Some women may feel pain or pressure in the stomach before a heart attack.
Other digestive issues associated with a possible heart attack can include:
Shortness of breath:
Shortness of breath or heavy breathing without exertion, especially when accompanied by fatigue or chest pain, may suggest heart problems.
Some women may feel short of breath when lying down, with the symptom easing when they are sitting upright.
Almost half of women in the 2003 study reported issues with sleep in the weeks before they had a heart attack.
These disturbances may involve:
- unusual waking throughout the night
- feeling tired despite getting enough sleep
- difficulty getting to sleep
Take care of yourself from it:
Heart disease is preventable. These are a few tips that can be used in the prevention of the development of myocardial ischemia:
- Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to learn your personal risk for heart disease.
- Not using illegal drugs, especially stimulants, such as cocaine and amphetamines
- Quit smoking.
- Modify your family’s diet if needed.
- Start an exercise program. Just walking 30 minutes a day can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Taking steps to manage other health conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
There are millions of people who are affected by blood pressure and heart diseases leading to heart attack, which is called also called myocardial infarction.
Symptoms of heart attack can be easily mistaken for another ailment (think nausea, heartburn, and fatigue). Identifying the signs of a heart attack and seeking early intervention can be the difference between life or death. Sometimes the presentation of the heart attack can be different from men an women.
Although men and women can experience chest pressure, some times women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure. Keeping in a note the various symptoms helps in identifying the heart attack and help in the early cure of the fore coming danger.
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