People sometimes think that heart disease is something that only men have to worry about, but that’s not the case. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your cardiovascular health and visit your primary care physician on a regular basis. The Heart Foundation reported that nearly 720,000 people in the U.S. suffer a heart attack each year. And although women under the age of 55 are less likely to have a heart attack than males of a similar age, heart attacks can affect anyone regardless of gender.
While men and women can both suffer from a heart attack, the symptoms of a heart attack can be quite different between genders. It’s important for women to recognize that there is a difference, and to know the symptoms.
Women’s heart attack symptoms can be much more subtle and far less distinct than the vice-like chest tightening and shooting pains down one arm that are associated with heart attacks in men. Many women don’t even realize that they’re having a heart attack, because they might not recognize the symptoms, or might not associate those symptoms with something as severe as a heart attack.
Here are the symptoms you should look for in women:
- Nausea or vomitting
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain in the arms, neck, jaw, or abdomen
- Constant or recurring chest pain
Most of these symptoms can be mistaken for the flu, illness, or even just some harmless discomfort. The fact that these symptoms might not necessarily indicate something as serious as a heart attack makes them even more dangerous. They can occur during sleep or rest, and women often suffer heart damage because they were unable to identify the symptoms of their heart attack.
Know how to identify these symptoms, and seek immediate medical attention if you are suffering a heart attack. Also, get regular exercise, eat a proper diet, and meet with your doctor regularly to help prevent heart attacks from happening.