Heart-attack: do women have it worse?

You feel a searing pain in your chest, you fall down and then you’re in an ambulance speeding towards the emergency room! Isn’t that how all heart-attacks happen? Well, that’s how they look in the movies, but real-life heart attack symptoms can be silent and sneaky. And, just to complicate matters a bit more: women may get very different symptoms to men! It all seems a bit unfair.

Why is it different for women?

  • Women have smaller blood vessels, so they can experience milder symptoms and with less severe blockages.
  • Women are more likely to have other conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Women are often older when they have heart attacks – men tend to have them at an earlier age.
  • If a younger woman has diabetes, her risk of a heart attack is over four times higher than it would be for a young man with diabetes!
  • Women with high blood pressure are also more likely than men with high blood pressure to have heart attacks.

Ladies, don’t let it sneak up on you!

The more well-known signs of a heart attack may include pain and tightness in your chest. Now here are some of the sneakier symptoms, and they’re more common in women.

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Pressure, tightness or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back.
  • Irregular pain in the lower or upper back can indicate stress to the heart muscle,
  • Indigestion, nausea, heartburn or pain in the abdomen
  • Flu-like symptoms are often reported weeks and days before a heart attack.
  • Cold sweats.
  • Fatigue.
  • Insomnia, restlessness or anxiety – and an abrupt change in the way you feel.
  • Bluish colour or numbness in lips, hands or feet
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Trust your gut!

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, or not feeling normal, see your doctor or clinic for a check-up. While it’s easy to write off some of these symptoms to flu, being run-down or just plain tired, take them seriously. Here’s a vital link to all the emergency facts regarding women and heart attacks: whatever happens, trust your instincts – if you have a feeling that something is wrong, don’t ignore it!

Joanne Hart for Hello Doctor

Source: http://www.today.com/health/heart-disease-different-women-may-be-deadlier-t69061