Ladies, would you know if you are having a heart attack? Most of my menopause patients don’t and research is clear that they should. Because of their physiology, the smaller size of their arteries and the way fat builds up in their blood vessels, it’s harder to diagnose the problem for both doctor and patients; and that makes it more deadly. Men are more likely to have crushing chest pain or pain going down one or both arms. But as you’ll see below, women are more likely to have different symptoms.
Heart disease kills ten times more women than breast cancer in the United States. It’s the #1 cause of death among American women. If your dad and your grandfather had heart disease, and on top of it you are a smoker, you are at risk of heart disease even in your forties. According to the American Heart Association, there are 80 million patients living with heart disease and 52 percent are female. Similarly, of the 864,500 people who died from heart disease, 52 percent were women. It’s important to know the symptoms because someone has a heart attack every 30 seconds in the United States. If you think you or someone you’re with is having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately.
The signs of a heart attack in women are very general and can easily be missed. Women often don’t even go to the doctor. That’s why women are more likely than men to die from a heart attack.
Heart Attack Symptoms More Common in Women but Can Occur in Men:
- Pain in the neck, jaw, or stomach
- Sick in the stomach, vomiting
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Dizzy or fainting
- General discomfort
Heart Attack Symptoms More Common in Men but Can Occur in Women:
- Chest pain that is severe or crushing
- Mild chest pain or unexplained back pain
- Pain in one or both arms
- Short of breath
- A cold sweat
- Extremely tired
- Very restless, a sense of doom, or it feels like something bad is about to happen
- Wake up at night short of breath or need 3 pillows to sleep on
Remember, if you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, don’t wait. Call 9-1-1 for medical help at once. For more information on heart attacks and tips on other medical emergencies, get Save Your Life, What to do in a Medical Emergency.