According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease is the leading cause of cause of death of women in the United States. Yet, it is still widely considered to be a ‘man’s disease” and because the symptoms in men and women are often different, many women die from simply not recognizing the symptoms quickly enough, if at all.
Unlike men, whose heart attack symptoms tend to be related to chest pain and tightness, women’s symptoms tend to be subtle and occur when they are resting or asleep. Women’s cardiovascular events also tend to occur slower and over time and so by the time they seek emergency care, irreparable damage may already be done.
Some of the symptoms women may experience according to www.mayoclinic.org, are: “ neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort; shortness of breath; pain in one or both arms; nausea or vomiting; sweating; lightheadedness; unusual fatigue.” The Mayo Clinic also lists certain heart disease risk factors specifically for women as: “diabetes, mental stress and depression, smoking, inactivity, menopause, broken heart syndrome, certain chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy for cancer, and pregnancy complications.”