Heart attacks in women: A major cause for concern
Heart attacks in women: A major cause for concern. Heart attacks are common even in women as much as in men. The death statistics of heart attacks in women have surpassed the combined figures of the deadliest cancers of all colors.
Have you ever ignored symptoms similar to heartburn or indigestion? Have you ever felt those symptoms as simple and not to be bothered about? Are you over 40 years age and obese? Do you have high blood cholesterol, diabetes and family history of heart disease? Then, be alert as you could be at a high risk of ignoring a major heart problem. Heart attacks are common even in women as much as in men. The death statistics of heart attacks in women have surpassed the combined figures of the deadliest cancers of all colors.
Facts Pertaining to Heart Problem in Women
American heart Association (AHA) stated that nearly 400000 women die from heart problem every year, which is equal to one death every minute. It is also said, that 50% of women who die suddenly do not have prior knowledge of heart problem. Furthermore, women’s perception of heart disease, its symptoms and causes is quite low when compared to breast cancer, ovarian cancer, AIDS, and other cancers. When compared to men, women smokers (incidentally 12% of all Indian women are smokers) die earlier and twice as many than men and are less likely to report chest Pain. Women with unstable angina have worst outcomes and need more re-hospitalizations. They also respond differently to medicines.
Being a woman, knowing the following is crucial
Women have unique symptoms, different from men. For instance, most men with heart attacks experience squeezing chest pain and shortness of breath, but these are not always seen in women. Then, how will you know that a woman has heart attack?
Remember! In case of women, heart attack pain is not confined to chest. Women do sometimes feel chest pain, but not always and not as intense and acute as men.
Nearly 43% of women do not feel severe chest pain at all. Most feel pain in the breast moving to shoulder, back, left arm, pain in abdomen, persistent discomfort in chest & back. It means, the chest pain in women is not so intense as compared to men. Women experience burning sensation in the chest without pain or pressure. Many women feel discomfort with pain similar to indigestion & dizziness. Fatigue is particularly common in women with heart attack. On the day of heart attack as well as during the days leading up to a heart attack some people experience intense weakness and sometimes the weakness is so severe that they can’t even walk or do simple tasks.
See whether You are Sweating
Women do sweat, but not as profusely as men who usually break out in Cold Sweat. A sudden burst of sweat while sitting or lying down is more common in men than in women. Pay attention to other symptoms as well to recognize heart trouble and see your friendly cardiologist – It could save your life in time.
You should seek a cardiologist’s opinion; if you don’t find one in an emergency room, then request his/her appointment as early as possible; never hesitate to assert and disclose all symptoms to the cardiologist. Many women at times don’t take these symptoms seriously. They attribute those symptoms to stress, arthritis, indigestion, tooth pain, etc. That could spell trouble. Therefore, you should make it a priority to take such symptoms seriously, in order to minimize the amount of damage to your heart muscles, or else they might lead, eventually, to heart failure, which is irreversible.
Dr. Meeraji Rao Dandangi
MBBS, MD (Gen Medicine), DM (Cardiology), FACC, FSCAI
Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist