Heart diseases are often associated with men. However, more women, especially those over 40 years, are diagnosed with fatal heart diseases as compared to men. Also, the signs of heart attack in women are different from men. You may go through the below listed signs and symptoms of heart attack in women and then take the necessary precautions to prevent heart attacks
Signs and symptoms
The signs of heart attack in women over 40 are listed below:
- Discomfort in chest: It is one of the most common symptoms of a heart attack. The pain is usually experienced below the breastbone, slightly left of center. The pain can be mild or very excruciating. As compared to men, affected women are also more likely to elicit a burning sensation instead of pain or pressure.
- Anxiety: A majority of women who have suffered from a heart attack often experience a sense of impending doom or severe anxiety.
- Coughing: Prolonged wheezing or coughing can also be a sign of heart attack in women over 40. It is usually caused due to buildup of fluids in the lungs. Affected women may also cough up bloody sputum.
- Dizziness and breathlessness: Heart attacks can be accompanied by loss of consciousness and fainting or lightheadedness. Affected women may also experience shortness of breath, as if they have run over a long distance.
- Lack of appetite, vomiting, and nausea: Patients also tend to vomit during a heart attack. Anomalous cardiac swelling related to heart failure can also cause loss of appetite.
- Sweating: One of the most common signs of heart attack in women over 40 is breaking out into a cold sweat, even when you just relaxing.
- Exhaustion and weakness: Women may experience abnormal fatigue and weakness several days and even weeks before suffering a heart attack.
- Pain in areas other than chest: Men tend to experience pain in left arm during a heart attack, while women over 40 may feel pain in between the shoulder blades or in both the arms, in addition to chest pain. The pain may then spread to the neck, back, abdomen, elbows, or jaw.
- Abnormal or rapid pulse: Temporary cases of irregular or fast pulse is normal. However, when it occurs along with weakness, breathlessness, or fainting, then it indicates a heart attack or other cardiac anomalies.
- Inflammation: As heart diseases cause buildup of fluids, the legs, feet, abdomen, ankles, and other parts of the body may experience swelling.
- The main causes of a heart attack in men as well as women are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.
- Other risk factors which increase the vulnerability to experiencing a heart attack in women over 40 include smoking, a family history of cardiac conditions, depression and mental stress, decreased estrogen levels after menopause, and metabolic syndrome.
- Cardiac conditions which are responsible for heart attacks in women can be corrected with drug therapy, stenting, or angioplasty.
- Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, daily exercises, and maintaining a healthy weight, intake of prescription medications, changes in diet, and intake of omega-3 fatty acids and other supplements can reduce the risk to heart attack in women over 40.