February is Heart Health Month – look for advice throughout the month intended to help you manage cardio-related health concerns.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women. Unfortunately, women are at a disadvantage when it comes to matters of the heart as they often don’t realize that heart disease is as much of a threat to them as it is to men. They are less likely than men to believe they’re having a heart attack and therefore are more likely to put off seeking treatment. In addition, doctors tend to treat women less aggressively with surgery, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors or even aspirin after a heart attack.
Common symptoms of a heart attack shared by both genders include:
- Chest discomfort
- Arm discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating and clammy skin
- Stomach pain and feelings of indigestion
Additionally, women are more likely than men to experience unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances and anxiety, as well as throat, jaw and neck discomfort during a heart attack.
Don’t let your gender influence your response to heart concerns. If you experience these symptoms and feel you might be having a heart attack, don’t delay dialing 911 – the most effective window for treatment occurs during the first 60 minutes of symptoms.
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