Go Red for Women

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American Heart Month

Go Red for Women

There's a common misconception that heart disease is primarily a concern for men, when in fact, the American Heart Association sites heart disease as the leading cause of death in women. It kills more women than breast cancer.

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

Part of the reason heart disease is particularly threatening to women is that women’s symptoms are quite different from the more widely discussed symptoms men experience, and that creates a misunderstanding.

Most people believe the telltale sign of a heart attack is extreme chest pain, but that’s not typical for women.

Women are more likely to experience nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, back or jaw pain, extreme fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, and pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen.

Many women report having vague or even “silent” symptoms like stomach pain, lightheadedness, fatigue, and nervous, cold sweat. These symptoms may come and go, but you shouldn’t downplay or brush off your symptoms as something less serious.

Despite minimal or subtle symptoms, any type of heart attack is still problematic for your heart. It can damage and scar your heart and put you at a greater risk for another heart attack and other heart problems.

The best way to detect a heart attack is to become familiar with all of the signs and symptoms, including the subtle ones. Knowing your risk factor for a heart attack can also help you detect or even prevent a silent heart attack.

Risk Factors of Heart Disease

Knowing and being able to identify signals of heart disease is only part of what women need in their fight against it – they also need to know their risk factors. The big five heart disease risk factors for women are:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Smoking

The good news is that these risk factors can be mitigated or managed through healthy lifestyle changes - you can stop smoking, you can treat your blood pressure, you can treat your cholesterol, and diet and exercise to lose weight.

In order to avoid ever having a heart attack, it’s important to treat high blood pressure aggressively and get cholesterol numbers down into a healthy range – this can help prevent further development of cardiovascular disease or worsening of plaque in arteries.

Request an Appointment

To request an appointment with a cardiovascular physician or for a non-invasive cardiac test at a Crozer Healthfacility, please complete the online secure appointment form below or call 1-866-957-8573. A representative will get back to you within the next business day. We regret that we cannot take appointment requests for pediatric patients at this time.

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