Heart Attack hits women harder than it hits men, and it is more dangerous than breast cancer!
Usually, when a woman goes to see her doctor to find out why she felt lousy and experiences shortness of breath, heart disease never came up as a diagnosis, the physician most of the time attributes the symptoms to everything from work to a lack of physical activity.
According to Wendy Wray, the director of the Women`s Healthy Heart Initiative, “It`s an ongoing problem. Research shows that when General Practitioners see men and women with the same risk factors for heart disease, they`re more likely to talk to men about symptoms and reducing the risk than they are to women.”
The combination of Biology – women`s reproductive cycles have a tendency to affect study results – and clinical bias means heart disease in women is under-researched, and therefore under diagnosed and under treated.
All of this is worrisome when you consider that American Heart Association states that one in three women dies of heart disease each year – compared to one in 36 of breast cancer.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IT`S HEART ATTACK?
The classic Hollywood moment where a man suddenly clutches his chest and drops dramatically to his knees isn’t how most women experience heart attacks.
Yes, women do experience chest pains in 60 per cent of cases, but that`s often not their primary symptom, says Lisa McDonnell, the program manager for the Canadian Women`s Heart Health Centre in Ottawa. She notes that women are more likely to report so-called atypical symptoms such as:
(1) Unusual fatigue
(2) Shortness of breath
(3) Back Pain
(5) Flu-like symptoms
“This convolutes the issue, as both doctors and patients tend to think it could be something else”, she says.
In fact, heart disease symptoms are unrecognized in women up to 54 per cent of the time, according to a 2010 study in the journal Heart.
Because they don’t suspect they`re in danger, women will delay going to the hospital. The national survey on heart health behaviors found that almost 50 percent of women wouldn’t call an ambulance out of fear, embarrassment or a desire not to bother anyone. For doctors, timing is very important in this kind of situation. The sooner they get their hands on the patient, the more heart muscle can be saved.
SO WHAT WOMEN NEED TO KNOW
A heart attack occurs when a blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot. Without oxygenated blood, the heart muscles begin to die.
Both men and women have a greater chance of having a heart attack if they are obese, smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, but some of these factors are heightened in women.
Smoking puts younger women at a 25 per cent greater risk than men, and women with diabetes are seven times more likely than men to have heart disease as well.
Marital stress can be another factor: researchers found that a combination of work and family pressures was accompanied by the highest risk and the worst prognosis in women`s coronary disease.
Then, there are things men don’t need to worry about, like menopause and pregnancy. Most women do not know that if they had pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) during pregnancy, it doubles the chances of developing heart disease five to 15 years postpartum.
THE GOOD NEWS?
The good news about heart disease is that so much of it is within our control. In a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that even the increased danger due to genetics (which can nearly double risk in some cases) can be modified by lifestyle changes.
Eating healthy, being active, and living smoke-free are the best known ones.
Getting enough sleep, avoiding excess alcohol and managing stress are also important. For example, recent research suggests that meditation can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death in patients who already have coronary heart disease.
Keeping your blood pressure on target also reduces your risk. Everyone over the age 50 should have it checked once to twice per year at heir doctor`s office.
There are so many blood pressure monitors which can be useful. I recommend Qardio. (Wireless smart blood pressure monitor that fits in your daily life. Compatible with iOS and Android devices.)
Aside from your BP, asked about your cholesterol, your BMI, what activities you need to do and how much.
Then, when there are symptoms you`re not sure about, do not hesitate to seek assistance.
If you get sent home, so what? At least you can rest easy knowing you`ve been checked out!
Any thoughts on this article? Leave a comment.
25 thoughts on “Heart Attack Symptoms For Women Over 50”
Hannah, love your site! I was intrigued by the article and wanted to stay on your page. Maybe more so because I have crossed the century mark and loving life. I wanted to buy the BP monitor as well.
Hi Nancy, Thanks so much! I am very glad you like what i have in here. Check once in awhile and for sure i will post some fresh articles that i know will help people in our age group:)
Hi Hanna, Thank you for some great information. My wife seldom cues me in on how she is feeling and now I have some questions to ask when she is feeling bad. I was unaware of the statistics, and completely clueless about doctors not looking at heart conditions in women. Definitely will be advising my Maryee to read this article. Thank you!
Thanks Sanders! It`s totally true, even for us, we would not know if we are already having the symptoms of heart disease. It`s good to have it check once in a while.. and Qadro is kinda handy to check your blood pressure.
Great article and I like it because there are lots of information about heart attack , symptoms , how to prevent it especially for women over 50.
Maybe many people are not aware of this dangerous situation, but your article covers all topics that one need to be aware of.
I will definitely share this to my friends.
Thanks Heman. Yes, heart disease is something that has been overlooked for the past years. People should be educated about it, so that we can be aware of its prevention and treatment.
I don’t know about you but I think doctors have a very difficult job, but sometimes I think that they all too ready to start issuing pills.
I think that they should look at the underlying problem and address that, I am a strong believer in what you put in your body reflects on your health.
I have read many articles about diet and heart health, and I think we should take our health into our own hands and start eating the right kinds of food.
You are definitely correct Bill. You would really feel that those symptoms that sometimes we feel are just superficial. That is why in such studies that i have written in this article, unusual symptoms are overlooked as just an ordinary symptom of stress but it is already a heart attack. Letting people know about this through media and internet will make them realize how health is really important to life.
When most people think of someone having a heart attack, they usually never envision a woman. For some reason, we don’t usually think about women having heart attacks, but this is one of many health concerns that doesn’t see gender.
This is very informative and I’ll be sure to remind my mom (she’s 72) not to forget about her golden heart!
Thank you Aria Len. I hope this article will make all women aware about the seriousness of some symptoms. It may be a heart disease.
A very useful article to read and I’ll keep it in mind for future reference but why do you only gear it towards the signs of a heart attack for women. Surely they would be the same for men.
Thanks Les. I would like to give an emphasis on how women were overlooked in certain cases. As i`ve mentioned, women`s symptoms for a heart attack is a little different from men`s because for one, women have hormonal imbalances for certain periods. But of course, this article is for the awareness of all people, women or men.
Hiya, I found this really useful as my Mum has recently been suffering from chest pains and a little nag in the bag of my mind has been worrying about her maybe having a heart attack, so thank you for putting my mind at rest!
Hi Jo, thanks for your thoughts. Definitely, a visit to a doctor for your mom will be very beneficial. It may or may not be a symptom, but at least you have her checked.
I found this article very interesting and informative. Heart attack symptoms can easily go undetected and many people completely miss the signs,.Great article,thanks.
Thanks Keith. It`s my real purpose of this article – to make people aware of the benefits of taking care of your heart.. of your health.
Awesome read article! I’ve been looking for an article like this because I have a few family members with heart problems. I also need to pass this info to my aunty too. You pretty much convinced me that we can prevent heart attack in some situation.
Thanks for sharing this. The article should help so many since you have really covered so much here.
All the best in producing more such articles in the coming days ahead.
Thanks Maun! I`m glad you appreciate this kind of articles. I really wanted to share this for awareness about heart diseases.
Thank you for this post. It was actually very informative. I am not in my 50’s but I will be someday and my mom is in here 50’s and is on high blood pressure medication. So this post actually really hits home with me for something that I need to know just in case.
It’s crazy that women seem to be under or misdiagnosed too! good to know. I will definitely remind my mom about what you said with eating healthy and treating your body right.
Do you recommend certain foods?
You`re welcome Kayla!
When a person already has some problems regarding heart disease or high blood pressure, she/he will benefit from having a healthy diet. Foods that are anti-oxidants to prevent inflammations. I have an article about it, check it out!
That’s very useful information, Hanna.
My mom is about 70 now and I need to share this with her.
And you ave me an idea for a holiday present for her, as her old BP monitor is so outdated..
Thanks Mary! This BP monitor really is very helpful. I consider it a “smart-BP-monitor”! Check it out, you`ll know:)
Great information on the site connected with pictures. I love it. Great job
Thankyou for sharing this information