Women More Likely to Have "Non-classic" Heart Attack Symptoms
Feb 16, 2017
(ST. JOSEPH) – For many women, a heart attack may feel like a strange discomfort in the back or some other sign that is easy to ignore instead of crushing chest pain. During American Heart Month, Lakeland Health encourages all women to know their risk and to learn to read the signs.
“Heart attacks and their aftermath tend to be more deadly in women,” said cardiologist, Dilip S. Arora, MD, FACC. “More women than men die within a year of having a heart attack. This may happen because women are generally older than men when they suffer heart attacks. Also, women don't respond as well as men to the treatments usually prescribed during or after a heart attack.”
Women also don't often feel the "elephant-on-the-chest" pain that takes place when large arteries shut down. Instead, they may have subtle symptoms such as pressure or squeezing or shortness of breath. Healthcare providers note however, that unexplained jaw, shoulder, back, or arm pain can also signal a man's heart attack even when the classic crushing chest pain is absent.
To help people determine their risk for heart disease, Lakeland Health offers a free, online Heart Risk Assessment tool. After answering a few simple questions from the comfort and privacy of their home, participants will receive an immediate score and information to help evaluate their present condition as well as tips for lowering their risk. To learn more, or to complete the assessment, visit www.lakelandhealth.org/heartsafe
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