Traditionally, men were more susceptible to heart attacks. No longer! Almost half of all heart attack deaths happen to women. Like men, heart disease is the number one cause of death for women.
While the most common symptom of heart attack is the same for both men and women – pain, pressure, or a feeling of squeezing or fullness in the center of the chest – women are more likely to experience the following:
- pain in jaw, back, arms, neck or between shoulders
- indigestion, heartburn, nausea or vomiting
- sleep disturbance
- lightheadedness or dizziness
- shortness of breath
- unusual fatigue
- cold sweats
Women are usually 10 years older than men when they have a heart attack. Women who experience heart attacks are also more likely to have other conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. This makes getting help crucial, but women are also more likely to delay seeking treatment for these symptoms! Even in the absence of sharp pain, women should contact their healthcare provider, or in the case of severe symptoms, should call 911. DO NOT drive to the emergency room. Getting help immediately can mean the difference between life and death. Have a heart, and choose help!
To Your Vitality!