Early Warnings of Heart Troubles Differ for Women

Symptoms Vary by Gender




Women may worry more about breast cancer, but in reality, heart disease is the top killer of American women, claiming 300,000 lives a year, 7.5 times the number that die of breast cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although heart disease is more often perceived as a men’s issue, since 1984 more women have died of heart disease than men.

Part of the reason may be that women’s heart attacks can differ from men’s and the American Heart Association (AHA) warns that women often fail to recognize the symptoms, ranging from torso aches and pains and nausea to anxiety, shortness of breath, dizziness and extreme fatigue. They may experience subtle symptoms for months and write them off as byproducts of menopause, heartburn or effects of aging. The National Institutes of Health states that 43 percent of women that have heart attacks experience no chest pain.

The difference between the more subtle signs of a heart attack in women and the more dramatic signs in men may help explain why 75 percent of men, prompted to act quickly, survive a first heart attack, while only 62 percent of women do, according to the AHA. “Research shows that women may not be diagnosed or treated as aggressively as men,” notes the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

People that Don’t Slight Sleep Eat Better

People that sleep more than seven hours a night are likely to eat less sugar, fat and carbohydrates the following day, British researchers report.

New Guidelines Lower the Bar for Risky Blood Pressure

With new guidelines that define high blood pressure as being 130/80 instead of 140/90, nearly half of U.S. adults are considered at risk.

Young Women Outdo Male Peers in Oxygen Uptake

In an important fitness marker, young women were found by Canadian researchers to process oxygen about 30 percent faster and more efficiently than men their age when they began exercising.

Gut Bacteria Imbalance Linked to Chronic Fatigue

In a Columbia University study, people with chronic fatigue syndrome were found to have an imbalance in the levels of certain gut bacteria.

Alcohol Affects Our Heartbeat

In a study during German Oktoberfest, arrhythmia showed up in the heart rhythms of 30 percent of drinkers, compared to 4 percent of the general population.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags