Heart attacks are commonly depicted on TV and movies with crushing chest pain, left arm pain or tingling, and a sudden realization that you have a heart attack. While these stereotypical symptoms may be an accurate representation of the experience for men, the same can’t be said for women. There’s a lack of knowledge and education when it comes sot what a heart attack looks like in women and how to quickly identify the symptoms, but we want to change that!
What Are the Symptoms?
Overall, heart attack symptoms in women are much subtler than heart attack symptoms in men. This leads many women to ignore the signs, try to treat them at home or hesitate before seeking medical attention. Some of the most common heart attack symptoms in women include:
• Shortness of breath
• Jaw pain
• Back pain
The signs are easily confused with the flu or other illnesses by doctors and patients alike.
What is Group of Women At Risk?
The most at-risk age for women to suffer from a heart attack is 10 years after menopause, but younger generations are beginning to see an increase in the event as well. Regardless of your age, if you think you may be suffering from a heart attack, you should not hesitate to seek treatment.
Treating the Heart Attack
Women wait longer than men to report the symptoms of a heart attack, and some never report them at all. While part of that can be blamed on a lack of education and knowledge of the symptoms, part of it can also be placed on the fact that women fear to look silly if they reach out for help and aren’t actually having a heart attack. More doctors need to begin educating themselves and their female patients on heart attacks in women. To start treating women quicker and more effectively, there needs to be an open discussion happening. Many female cardiologists make it a priority to educate their female patient, while male doctors tend to drop the ball.
Speak with your physician to learn more about your risk factors for heart attack including age, weight, lifestyle and more. Prevention is the best treatment for heart attacks. Make the changes that you can to lower your risk, but it’s important to understand that even the healthiest individuals can still suffer!