Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
HomeLifestyleHow heart attack symptoms differ in men and women - Times of...

How heart attack symptoms differ in men and women – Times of India


NEW YORK: Sweating, nausea, dizziness and unusual fatigue may not seem like typical symptoms of a heart attack, but they are common in women and may occur more frequently while resting or sleeping, according to a study.

Unlike in men, chest pain, pressure, or discomfort is not always serious or even the most prominent symptom of a heart attack in women. That’s why women need to understand their unique symptoms while working to reduce their risk of heart disease, Mayo Clinic researchers revealed.

When women experience symptoms of a heart attack, those signs are often misinterpreted. Women’s symptoms are often vague: shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Other women experience dizziness, lightheadedness, lower chest or upper abdominal pain, and extreme fatigue.

“It’s important to first recognize risk factors for developing heart disease and then work to curb behaviors that could exacerbate that risk,” said Chatura Alur, a family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.

“Some factors play a larger role in the development of heart disease in women than those considered traditional risks, such as high cholesterol, obesity and high blood pressure,” Alur added.

To help prevent heart disease, women should control risk factors such as diabetes, mental stress and depression, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. Certain conditions, such as menopause, broken heart syndrome, and pregnancy complications, can also increase a woman’s risk of heart disease.

“Women of all ages should take heart disease seriously,” Dr. Alur said.

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“Many women tend to downplay their symptoms and do not seek care until heart damage has already occurred and a visit to the emergency room is necessary. We want women to understand the importance of listening to their bodies, understanding what that seems normal to them and seek care before symptoms become severe.”

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the combination of birth control pills and smoking increases the risk of heart disease by 20 percent in young women.

Women can suffer heart attacks without previous symptoms. About 64 percent of women who die suddenly from coronary heart disease had no prior symptoms, the AHA said.

The risk also increases as women age and family history often plays a role. Overeating and leading a sedentary lifestyle are also factors that lead to clogged arteries over time.

The AHA recommends checking cholesterol at age 20, or earlier if you have a family history of heart disease. It is also important to check your blood pressure regularly.



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