Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States? However, many women are still not aware of their risk or of the heart attack symptoms more commonly seen in female patients. Below you can take a look at the important heart health facts for women and the steps you can take to reduce your risk.
Unique heart attack symptoms
Many women have had heart attacks misdiagnosed, because symptoms may be more mild and flu-like. Chest pain may still be present, but more commonly women experience nausea, dizziness, upper-abdominal and mid-back pain, and shortness of breath. When you have these symptoms, you should not ignore these signs. Call 911 right away and alert the nurse in the ER if you have a personal or family history of heart disease.
Risk factors and prevention
The risk factors for heart disease include a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes or insulin resistance. In order to identify most of these factors, you need to maintain a regular schedule of annual checkups. If any of your numbers are too high, you should explore lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, and smoking cessation to manage your health.
Changing views on women’s heart health
In the past, the risk of heart attack in women was not recognized in the medical community. Now physicians are listening to the statistics and taking steps to make their patients more aware of their risks and important changes for their health. ER procedures have also been redesigned to address the unique heart attack symptoms seen in female patients.
To explore the resources available to help you manage your heart health, call Englewood Community Hospital at (888) 685-1598. You can also connect with us online to discover free classes and events like community blood pressure screenings that will benefit your heart.