Women and Heart Disease – What are the Symptoms?

Hot Health
By Hot Health August 25, 2016 16:31
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Women and Heart Disease – What are the Symptoms?

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Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women  

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women, even more serious than cancer. It is a fact that more women die of heart disease than men, year after year. But heart disease is not identified with women as much as it is with men.

Why is that? Symptoms of heart disease in women are different from those seen in men. Much of the research that has been done on heart disease in the West, such as the recording of symptoms, signs and conditions, were taken from men, and rarely from women.

The American Heart Association stated there are several reasons why men and women are treated differently when it comes to heart disease. For one, women are diagnosed with heart disease at an average of 10 years after men are diagnosed with the same condition. Women with heart disease are generally known to suffer from other ailments such as diabetes and arthritis.

So women suffer from heart disease later than men and for different reasons than men, which is why there is often a delay in the diagnosis of the condition in women.


Important Facts

Heart disease, as we said earlier, is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. 292,188 women in 2009 died from heart disease—which means heart disease was responsible for 1 in every 4 female deaths.

Unfortunately, there is a perception that heart disease is a man’s disease. But more women die of heart disease than men in America. In spite of this, only 54% of the women in a survey recognized the true seriousness of heart disease for them.

In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death for white women and African American women. For Hispanic women, heart disease and cancer were responsible for an equal number of deaths.  For Asian, American Indian Alaskan Native and Pacific Islander women, cancer is the leading cause of death and heart disease is no. 2.

5.8% of white women in America, 7.6% of black women, and 5.6% of Hispanic women suffer from coronary heart disease.

64% of the women who succumbed to heart disease in America did not display any of the symptoms of the condition. This goes to show that you are at risk of heart disease, even if you have none of the usual symptoms of the ailment. 


Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women

Symptoms can be atypical, or unusual, which makes it so difficult for doctors to diagnose the condition in time to prevent it from getting any more serious. Heart disease can be life threatening and it is imperative that proper medical attention should be given within 60 to 120 minutes of the occurrence of the first symptoms of the heart attack. It is important for doctors to watch out for such atypical signs, make the right diagnosis and provide a quick and efficient treatment.

The most common symptom of heart disease in women is angina or chest pain. People who suffer from this condition describe the feeling as discomfort, tightness, pressure, aching, heaviness, squeezing or fullness. Men usually feel angina in the chest. Women can feel the pain from angina in the arms, left shoulder, neck, back or jaw, as well as in the chest.

Other signs of heart disease are, pain in the left arm, epigastric pain, heartburn, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, severe jaw pain, nausea, clammy skin, chills, cold and sweating of the palms.

Symptoms of heart disease in women are less likely to be identified as quickly as in men. They usually occur in older, post-menopausal women and it is often masked by the symptoms of other conditions or ailments.

If you feel any of the symptoms of heart disease such as angina or chest pain, then you must call 9-1-1 first, and not a friend, relative or neighbor. A heart attack is an emergency and should be treated as such.

Any delay in getting treatment makes the condition worse, and could possibly lead to death. So take any sign or warning of heart disease very seriously and get yourself treated at the earliest.


MayoClinic: Heart Disease in Women

Cleveland Clinic: Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease

National heart Lung and Blood Institute: What are the signs and symptoms of heart disease
American Heart Association: Heart Attack Symptoms in Women
Womens Health: Heart Disease Fact Sheet

US Food and Drug Administration: Heart disease in Women
British Heart Foundation: Symptoms for Heart Conditions
Eth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: Heart Disease- Differences Between Men and Women

Hot Health
By Hot Health August 25, 2016 16:31
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