Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, and this includes men and women from most ethnic groups. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from a heart attack.
In a report published by the American site “emedihealth”, the specialist in “interventional cardiology” Allison Dupont reviews the most important symptoms of a heart attack in women, and provides a number of tips to maintain a healthy heart and reduce the risk of sudden attacks.
Dr. Dupont says that women often ignore the first symptoms of heart-related problems, so in most cases they do not get the necessary medical care, which reduces the chances of survival from these attacks.
Symptoms of a heart attack in women
In some cases, women experience symptoms similar to those experienced by men with angina (the lack of blood flow to the heart muscle due to the accumulation of plaques in the arteries of the heart) or a heart attack.
In the event of a heart attack, symptoms appear suddenly, and may include constriction of the chest, with varying degrees of severity and pain.
In some cases, these known symptoms may not appear, and the woman, on the other hand, suffers from other symptoms such as:
- Sudden injury to shortness of breath
- Pain in the left arm, jaw, or tooth
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Loss of consciousness or fainting
- Pain in the upper back
These symptoms may be related to other symptoms, such as:
- Sudden sweating
These symptoms are common in women, but in many cases, lower abdominal or back pain is not a sign of a heart attack.
On the other hand, dental pain may be a sign of heart problems, as the author says that she once examined a patient who was suffering from severe pain in the teeth while exercising, and discovered that she was suffering from a blockage of one of the arteries of the heart.
Silent heart attacks
Women can have silent heart attacks, and in some cases, they have no symptoms at all. In other cases, women may experience uncommon symptoms similar to those previously mentioned, but they ignore it.
But it is necessary not to underestimate such symptoms and resort directly to the doctor to avoid the risks of a heart attack.
Vaginal pain and heart attack
According to the author, most of the pain below the navel – including vaginal pain – has nothing to do with heart problems, however you should consult a doctor if any new symptoms appear.
Healthy lifestyle to reduce risk
The author stresses that following a healthy lifestyle plays an important role in reducing risks and reducing the risk of a heart attack. This includes:
1. Stop smoking
Smoking or using an electronic cigarette kills 1 in 4 people with a heart attack. You can consult your doctor in case you need some help to quit smoking.
2. Exercise and lose weight
You should consult your doctor before you start exercising, and the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend that you do moderate aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes a week.
3. Regular medical examination
It is necessary to have regular checks to measure blood pressure and cholesterol, because they may rise without any symptoms, which doubles the chances of a sudden heart attack or stroke.
This is why treating high cholesterol and blood pressure is important to reduce the risk.
Factors that increase risk for women
The following factors may contribute to a woman’s increased risk of heart attacks:
Age: Women over the age of 55 face the same risk of heart attack as men of the same age.
Hormone replacement therapy: It has been shown that patients who receive hormone replacement therapy – especially at higher doses – are at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Smoking: Smoking, tobacco use and e-cigarette use are known to negatively affect cardiovascular health in both genders.
Some medical conditions: These include diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Obesity: Obesity, often associated with a lack of exercise, leads to high cholesterol and fat levels, which doubles the risk of a heart attack.
Genetic factors: Genetic predisposition to early heart disease, and one of its signs is that a first-degree family member had a heart attack at an early age.