Three minute read
Every year, more than one million people in the U.S. suffer from a heart attack. This means every 40 seconds someone in the US experiences congestive heart failure. Although heart disease death rates have fallen steadily for men, the rates for women have decreased only slightly.
Why is there such a discrepancy between men and women? A lot of it has to do with the variances in symptoms of heart attacks for each gender.
Chest tightening, sweating and pain in the shoulder and arm are the most well-known symptoms of a heart attack. For years, many believed these were the only symptoms to look out for, but as we learn more about cardiovascular disease, we find that there are significant differences in how men and women experience a heart attack.
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for men. In fact, 1 in every 4 males die from a heart attack. Men also experience heart attacks earlier in life compared to women. Men exhibit the following symptoms during a heart attack:
Recently, studies have shown that women experience heart attacks quite differently than men. In fact, most women don’t experience classic symptoms like chest or arm pain. Surprisingly, many women experience symptoms of a heart attack more than a month before the attack occurs. Here are the symptoms women experience:
According to a recent survey by the American Heart Association, only 65 percent of women said that they would seek emergency assistance if they thought they were having a heart attack. Researchers in Switzerland also found that women experiencing a heart attack will wait 37 times longer than a man before rushing to the ER.
There are two main reasons for this: women hesitate to seek help because they don’t feel they exhibit classic symptoms of a heart attack – like chest tightening and arm pain. Also, many women believe that heart disease is more of a “man’s disease,” so the idea that they could be suffering from a heart attack one does not seem plausible.
It’s important to schedule annual check-ups with your primary care physician to stay informed about your health Women should ask their doctor about their cardiovascular risk during their annual visit. During your check-up, your physician will learn more about your medical history, assess your blood pressure and recommend health screenings based on your age.
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