Heart Disease Symptoms Often Ignored by Women

Posted on February 08 2013

It’s February. The month where we celebrate love with everything hearts. Coincidentally, it is also American Heart Month and a great time to familiarize yourself with heart-healthy practices, and signs that something may be wrong with your heart. While heart attacks and cardiac problems do affect men, heart disease is the #1 killer of women. This statistic is well known and has not changed for many years. However, heeding the warning is not something any women take seriously. While it is unknown why men and women experience similar heart problems with different symptoms, heart disease can affect anyone. Many medical theologians speculate that symptomatic differences may be caused by hormones and/or blood vessel size. Most people are familiar with symptoms common to men such as the pressure of an elephant sitting on the chest, but even women are unfamiliar with the symptoms they experience during a heart attack. These symptoms are often much subtler than in men and are often passed off as just being normal aches and pains. The most common female symptom is chest pain, tightness, and/or pressure. This is also the main symptom in men, but does not carry the same effect as the elephant metaphor.  In women this chest pain is often described as a dull, uncomfortable pain; a pain that can easily be attributed to something else. Unlike their male counterparts, women are more likely to take an aspirin, but usually fail to seek further attention. Health experts strongly suggest that if a woman experiences pain and discomfort that influences her to take an aspirin, she should immediately follow it with a call to 911. Flu-like symptoms are another misidentified sign of heart attack. Heart attack can produce similar feelings as the flu including nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. All of these heart attack symptoms are easily attributed to other causes as women tend to be too busy to slow down, constantly taking care of others, and running the family. Small inconveniences like these symptoms don’t keep a good woman down. However, they are something women should be aware of, especially if they are accompanying chest pain. Research is continually being performed to one-day find a cure for heart disease in women and men. Until that day comes, regular conversations with a general practitioner and careful monitoring if you have experienced symptoms, or have a family history is essential. Additional information on how to take care of you heart is available through the American Heart Association. With February being American Heart Month, it is time America showed some love to their cardiovascular systems by educating themselves and encouraging others to do the same. Source: ABC News - Health -


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