Do You Know Which Symptoms Signal a Heart Attack in Women?
Women’s heart attacks can be different than men’s. Learn the warning signs.
Most women know the symptoms of a heart attack -- squeezing chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea. But as it turns out, these symptoms are more typical for males. Female heart attacks can be quite different -- and it’s important for all women to learn the warning signs.
Rhonda Monroe's story is a cautionary tale. She was mystified when strong pain struck her left breast and left arm. Monroe, who was a 36-year-old mother of three, didn’t know it at the time, but she was having early symptoms of a heart attack. “I certainly wasn’t thinking about my heart because I was young and healthy and had been skinny,” she says.
How to Wreck Your Heart
No one sets out to hurt their heart. But some habits can add up over time, taking their toll.
You can't control things like your family history, or aging. But you have more power than you may think.
"There’s a lot of reason to believe you can trump your family history or promote a healthier, longer life if you focus as early as possible on the risk factors you can control,” says cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Here are the top 5 habits to change, for your heart's sake:
Dementia, Heart Disease Linked in Older Women?
Study found 29 percent higher odds of mental decline compared to women with healthy hearts
Older women with heart disease might be at increased risk for dementia, according to a new study.
Green Tea May Interfere With a Blood Pressure Medicine
Tiny, early study found reduced blood levels of nadolol among green tea drinkers
Drinking green tea may lessen the effects of the medication nadolol (Corgard), used to treat high blood pressure, a new small study suggests.
Researchers gave 10 volunteers a single dose of 30 milligrams of nadolol after they had consumed either water or about three cups of green tea daily for 14 days.
When researchers tested blood levels of the drug, they were 76 percent lower in the group that drank green tea compared to the water-drinking group.
According to the study's authors, that means that "patients treated with nadolol should avoid taking green tea." They published the findings online Jan. 13 in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.
Snowed in? Cozy Up with Hot Chocolate
Drinking cocoa (and eating dark chocolate) just may boost brain power.
If that delicious-looking picture doesn't have you craving hot chocolate, then congratulations on having the best willpower in the world...and we'll tempt you with this instead—drinking cocoa (and eating dark chocolate) just may boost brain power. If chocolate isn't your thing, weirdo, new research also suggests red wine and (if you're really healthy) green tea may help ward off Alzheimer's. Here's the scoop:
Also called: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, AIDS, HIV, Human immunodeficiency virus
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It kills or damages the body's immune system cells. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of infection with HIV.
Sunlight Might Be Good for Your Blood Pressure
Researchers figure out why, suggest not getting enough might raise risk for heart disease
Sunlight is known to lower blood pressure, but now a team of British researchers has figured out why.
5 Misconceptions About High Blood Pressure
Are you worried about high blood pressure in yourself, a family member, or a friend? Your concern is well-founded. If left untreated, high blood pressure -- also called hypertension -- can lead to a range of health problems, including heart disease and stroke. Knowing more about high blood pressure can help you prevent this condition from damaging your health, or the health of someone you love. You can start by learning what's true about this condition -- and what's not.
Here are five common misconceptions about high blood pressure.
12 Heart Symptoms Never to Ignore
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of U.S. men and women, accounting for 40% of all U.S. deaths. That's more than all forms of cancer combined.
Why is heart disease so deadly? One reason is that many people are slow to seek help when symptoms arise. Yes, someone gripped by sudden chest pain probably knows to call 911. But heart symptoms aren't always intense or obvious, and they vary from person to person and according to gender.
Because it can be hard to make sense of heart symptoms, doctors warn against ignoring possible warning signs, waiting to see if they go away, or being quick to blame them on heartburn, muscle soreness, or other less serious, noncardiac causes. That's especially true for people over 65, as well as for people with heart risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease.
"The more risk factors you have, the higher the likelihood that a symptom means something is going on with your heart," says David Frid, MD, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. "People often don't want to admit that they're old enough or sick enough to have heart trouble. Putting off treatment for other medical problems might not be so bad, but a serious heart problem can mean sudden death."
The ABCs of High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High Blood Pressure Treatment
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is dangerous because it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, or kidney disease. The goal of hypertension treatment is to lower high blood pressure and protect important organs, like the brain, heart, and kidneys from damage. Treatment for hypertension has been associated with reductions in stroke (reduced an average of 35%-40%), heart attack (20%-25%), and heart failure (more than 50%), according to research.
Will I Have Chest Pain If I Have a Heart Attack?
Not always, our expert says. And that's why you should know all the potential symptoms of a heart attack.
Q: I'll know I'm having a heart attack because my chest and arm will hurt, right?
A: Not necessarily. While some heart attacks do feature classic symptoms like chest and arm pain, the idea that they all do is FALSE.
About 25% of men and 40% of women don't have chest pain during heart attacks, says Harmony Reynolds, MD, associate director of the Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.
With or without chest and arm pain, women may have "shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, sweating, palpitations, dizziness, loss of appetite, or pain in other areas such as the jaw, throat, neck, shoulders, or upper or middle back," Reynolds says.
Understanding Blood Pressure Readings
Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers, written as a ratio like this:
The top number, which is also the higher of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).
The bottom number, which is also the lower of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).
The Warning Signs of Stroke
A stroke occurs about every 40 seconds. Each year, about 795,000 Americans have a stroke. Do you know the warning signs?
Sometimes symptoms of stroke develop gradually. But if you are having a stroke, you are more likely to have one or more sudden warning signs like these.
- Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side
- Confusion or trouble understanding other people
- Trouble speaking
- Trouble seeing with one or both eyes
- Trouble walking or staying balanced or coordinated
- Severe headache that comes on for no known reason
Heart Attack Symptoms
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm or below the breastbone
- Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm
- Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)
- Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness
- Extreme weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath
- Rapid or irregular heartbeats