Are you feeling unusual fatigue, sleep disturbance, shortness of breath, indigestion or anxiety lately? If so, you could be experiencing major symptoms prior to a heart attack. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that women often experience new or different physical symptoms as long as a month before experiencing heart attacks.
Many women go misdiagnosed as most doctors continue to deem chest pain as the most important heart attack symptom in both women and men. However, studies have shown a higher percentage of women who suffered a heart attack did not experience chest pain.
Myocardial infarction also known as a heart attack is the most severe form of acute coronary syndrome. All forms of acute coronary syndrome like a heart attack are triggered by the rupturing of a plaque within a coronary artery. The rupturing plaque causes a blood clot to form which in turn causes a blockage in the artery. The portion of the heart muscle being supplied by the blocked artery then begins to die. This death of the heart muscle is what defines a heart attack.
There are warning signs of a heart attack. The most common is pain experienced in your chest area that last more than a few minutes. It can go away and come back. You may experience pain or discomfort in your jaw, stomach, back, neck and both arms. Women are likely to experience other common symptoms such as nausea/vomiting and shortness of breath.
The American Heart Association states, studies show the number one cause of death in the United States is cardiovascular disease and stroke rated number 4. Americans do not practice heart healthy lifestyles and therefore are more prone to dying from these diseases that could be preventable and treated in its early stages.
Lifestyle changes can prevent heart attacks. By learning the ABC’s of heart attack prevention can reduce your risk of heart disease. Avoid tobacco, Become more active and Choose good nutrition. There are some risk factors that are unavoidable. Women increasing in age past 65 who experience heart attacks are most likely to die from them within a few weeks. African Americans have a higher risk of heart disease than their Caucasian counterparts partly because they suffer from severe high blood pressure. Obesity and diabetes are other risk factors that are most common in all ethnic groups. Lastly, children who have parents that suffer from heart disease are likely to develop the disease themselves.
I have provided a link to The Heart Attack Risk Assessment tool to assist you with assessing your individual risk of having a heart attack and dying from heart disease.
Please Note: If you are experiencing any of the symptoms noted above please seek medical attention, even if you are unsure. Early detection increases your survival rate.