Heart Attack in Women: How is it Different?

Heart Attack in Women: How is it Different?| HealthSoul

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for women and kill more than 3 million women a year.  Coronary artery disease (heart attack, blockage of heart arteries) affects women differently than men. Let’s learn about risk factors and symptoms of a heart attack in women, so we can help reduce heart disease in women.

Gender Differences in Risk Factors

Historically, research regarding coronary artery disease has been concentrated on men. We now understand there are a myriad of differences between men and women where heart disease is concerned, including biological and medical. Some of the traditional risk factors affect women differently as compared to men. The risk factors and symptoms of heart attack in men are different from women.

  • Women who smoke are at a greater risk for heart disease than men who smoke.
  • Women with diabetes are at a greater risk for heart disease than men with diabetes
  • Stress affects women differently than men which can lead to stress cardiomyopathy (stress induced heart failure and heart attack). For instance, driving after a heart attack and having to deal with traffic challenges can be an acute stressor. Approaching this activity with utmost care is essential.
  • Menopause results in low levels of estrogen and can increase the risk for heart disease in women

Heart Attack In Women: How Is It Different? _ Post 2| HealthSoul

Symptoms of Heart Attack in Women

When it comes to women with heart disease, research studies have shown that women experience different symptoms than men so often misdiagnosed. Women are more likely to die within a year of experiencing a heart attack as compared to men of similar age.

The chief symptom of heart attack in women is still chest pain or discomfort or pressure or tightness.

However, women are more likely to experience the symptoms which they may not relate with heart attack. One out of every 4 women ignore the warning signs and symptoms or heart attack.

Risk Factor Modification for Coronary Artery Disease Disease in Women

There are several risk factors that can be addressed by following a healthy lifestyle.

  • Quit smoking
  • Limit Alcohol intake
  • Increase physical activity
  • Regular healthcare visits for check on blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose

Don’t Ignore the minor symptoms of fatigue, heart racing, indigestion – Seek help from your Family doctor or Cardiologist.

Be sure to check out our prior blog post on how exercising between the ages of 45-64 can improve heart health!