Tags: heart | attack | symptoms | women

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women and Why They are Affected More than Men

Tuesday, 03 Apr 2012 04:39 PM

By Ted Goldenberg

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The Women’s Heart Foundation confirms that heart attacks are the leading cause of death among women in the United States, striking more than 400,000 annually and killing more than 250,000. That’s SIX TIMES the number of women who die from breast cancer each year.

Heart attack symptoms in women include centralized chest pressure spreading to the arm and jaw, nausea, sweating, shortness of breath, and an overall feeling of uneasiness. These are all classic signs, but they’re often a rarity.

Editor's Note: Do You Show the Heart Attack Symptoms in Women? Take the Simple Heart Test Now, and Find Out if You Are at Risk!

“That’s because 50 percent of heart attacks are entirely silent, a number that’s even higher in women and diabetics,” says Dr. Aristotelis Vlahos, the medical director of interventional cardiology at Riverview Medical Center in New Jersey. He says, “and because heart attacks can present in so many different ways — from an upset stomach or shoulder pain to a toothache, flu-like symptoms, fatigue and hand tingling — victims, especially women, often take these symptoms less seriously or attribute them to other conditions.”

While men become more vulnerable to heart attacks beginning at age 45, women typically suffer heart attacks between 55 and 65, the likely result of the post-menopausal drop in estrogen, “a hormone which has been proven to provide some protection from vascular disease,” Vlahos says.

So why do heart attacks “ambush” women more often than men?

“Our body’s feedback mechanism for telling us what’s going on inside is sometimes unclear to begin with,” Vlahos says. “And since most heart attacks in women happen at an older age, those mechanisms might be more eroded or compromised anyway, which further clouds the symptoms of a heart attack.”

Most cardiologists agree that the major risk factors for heart disease involve diet, exercise and tobacco use — simply put, how much you eat, move and smoke. It’s up for each individual to take charge, recognize the heart attack symptoms in women and fight back.

Editor's Note: Do You Show the Heart Attack Symptoms in Women? Take the Simple Heart Test Now, and Find Out if You Are at Risk!

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