Some may view heart disease as a more serious problem for men. However, it is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States. Because some heart disease symptoms in women may be different from those in men, women may not know what to look for.
Symptoms of heart attack in women
The most common symptoms of a heart attack in women are the same as in men: chest pain, pressure or discomfort that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes.
But chest pain is not always the strongest or even the most obvious symptom, especially in women. Women often describe the pain of a heart attack as pressure or pressure. A heart attack is possible without chest pain.
Women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms that are not related to chest pain, such as:
Pain in the neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or upper abdomen (abdomen)
Pain in one or both hands
feeling or being sick
Dizziness or dizziness
These symptoms can be vague and undetectable because crushing chest pain is often associated with heart attacks. This may be because women tend to have blockages not only in the main arteries, but also in the smaller arteries that supply blood to the heart, a condition called microvascular disease or coronary microvascular disease.
Compared to women, women are more likely to experience symptoms while resting or even sleeping, and mental stress can affect women’s heart attack symptoms.
Because the symptoms of a heart attack may be different for women than for men, women are less likely to have a heart attack than men. Women are more likely than men to have a heart attack without a severe blockage of an artery (non-obstructive coronary artery disease).
When are you going to see a doctor?
If you have symptoms of a heart attack or suspect them, call the emergency number immediately. Do not go to the emergency department unless you have other options.
Cardiovascular risk factors in women
Many traditional risk factors for coronary heart disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity, affect both women and men. But other factors may play a bigger role in women’s heart disease.
Risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women include:
Diabetic. Women with diabetes are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than men with diabetes. Also, because diabetes can change the way women feel pain, there is an increased risk of having an asymptomatic heart attack.
Mental stress and depression. Stress and depression affect women’s hearts more than men’s. Depression can make it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow treatment recommendations for other diseases.
smoke. Smoking is a higher risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women than in men.
laziness. Lack of exercise is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
menopause. Low estrogen levels after menopause increase the risk of microvascular disease.
pregnancy complications. High blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy can increase a mother’s long-term risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. These conditions cause higher rates of heart disease in women.
Family history of premature heart disease. It appears to be a higher risk factor for women than men.
Inflammatory diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other inflammatory conditions can increase the risk of heart disease in both men and women.
Women of all ages should take heart disease seriously. Women under the age of 65, especially those with a family history of heart disease, should pay particular attention to their risk factors for heart disease.
Lifestyle and home remedies
A healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Try these heart-friendly strategies:
quit smoking. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Try to avoid secondhand smoke, which can also damage blood vessels.
Maintain a healthy diet. Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat or low-fat dairy products and lean meat. Avoid saturated or trans fats, added sugars and large amounts of salt.
exercise and maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing a few pounds can lower your risk of heart disease. Ask your doctor which weight is best for you.