Are Women at as Great a Risk for Heart Attacks?

Learn signs and symptoms of heart attack in women

Heart attacks occur about as commonly in women as they do in men. However, the symptoms of a heart attack may be much less obvious for women. Many people think of the image of a man clutching his chest and falling to the ground as “code” for heart attack, yet women may experience a different set of symptoms. Nevertheless, the condition is no less serious, and it’s important to be aware of the warning signs and seek medical assistance right away.

What Exactly Is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack may be caused by a variety of medical conditions. The term “heart attack” is shorthand for a sudden shortage of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This can be caused by a variety of medical conditions. The most common medical condition is due to a build up of plaque in the coronary artery. Sometimes, a piece of plaque will cause the blood to clot around it, constricting blood flow to the heart. When the blood flow to the heart is restricted, the heart tissue begins to die.

When experiencing a heart attack, it is important to seek medical attention right away to avoid permanent heart damage or death. If you have high cholesterol and a family history of heart disease, you may want to consider diet and lifestyle changes to lower your risk of heart attacks. Even a short 20 minute walk everyday can make a huge impact on lowering your risk for heart attack.

What is a Heart Attack Like for Women?

Women experiencing a heart attack are likely to feel a shortness of breath, nausea, or lower back and jaw pain. Women may also experience a pressure or a pain in their chest, back, or upper abdomen. The tightening in this region of the body may spread to the neck or jaw. Other symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, or extreme fatigue, A cold sweat and nausea are also common symptoms.  It’s easy to confuse some of these symptoms with the flu or the normal fatigue of aging. However, if you think you may be having a heart attack, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

Because heart attacks in women are more difficult to recognize, women are often misdiagnosed or sent home without being treated, causing unnecessary damage to heart tissue. Therefore, it is important to be aware of all possible symptoms and seek medical attention if you think you may be having a heart attack. You should report all symptoms fully to the doctor for the best diagnoses.

Seeking Medical Attention

Heart tissue can be damaged very quickly in a heart attack. Therefore, it is very important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Don’t drive to the hospital. Instead, get an ambulence to bring you to the emergency room. People who call an ambulence and recieve Emergency Medical Service will get treatment up to an hour sooner than going to the emergency room by car. In a heart attack, every minute matters to preserve heart tissue.

Early Warning Signs?

Signs of a blocked artery may appear up to six weeks before a coming heart attack. Unexplained shortness of breath, fatigue, or stomach pain may indicate a blocked artery and increased risk for heart attack. These early heart attack warning signs should urge you to talk to your doctor about heart disease and seek treatment before your heart tissue becomes damaged. Heart attack warning signs for women can be easily confused with other diseases and disorders. Misdiagnoses are common. If you are at risk for heart disease, it is important to know the symptoms, risks, and report everything fully to medical professionals.

Being Prepared – Learn CPR

It is very important to know the warning signs of a women suffering from a heart attack, but it is also very important to know what to do. Immediately call 911 if you suspect someone is suffering from a heart attack. If their heart stops beating, start CPR. The American Heart Association and the American Red Cross provide low cost CPR classes throughout the Bay Area for those interested in learning how to perform proper CPR.

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