It's never too early to start looking out for your heart
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women (and men) in the United States. But it is important to remember that the risk factors are different for each gender; understanding the particular set of health risks your heart faces is a key way to practice prevention. Let's begin with the symptoms of heart attack in women, which are considerably different from those in men.
Symptoms of heart attack in women
Interestingly, the crushing, clenching pain that is most commonly thought of as a heart attack is less likely to occur in women. In fact, women can have a heart attack without any chest pain at all; women are more likely to experience symptoms like the following:
- Dizziness and nausea
- Pain in the extremities
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, upper back and abdomen
The big problem here is that because it is more difficult for a woman to identify the classic signs of heart attack, she may not realize it is happening until it is too late. By the time many women seek emergency medical attention, the damage has already occurred.
Risk factors for heart disease in women
There are many lifestyle factors that contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease in women. Aside from the standard factors including unhealthy diets, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol smoking and alcohol consumption, there are certain risk factors particular to women including:
- Stress: A woman's heart is more affected by stress than a man's.
- Menopause: hormonal imbalance following menopause can lead to the development of coronary microvascular disease.
- Pregnancy complications
Managing your heart health begins with being aware
At Ahkami Medical Group, we want to help each and every woman in our community live the long, healthy life they deserve. Managing your heart health is one of the best ways you can protect yourself as you move forward in age. If you are interested in finding out more about how we can help you reduce your risk for heart disease, give our office in Passaic a call to schedule an appointment today.