Signs of heart at­tack in women

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE -

SOME heart at­tack symp­toms can be more vague and sub­tle in women than they are in men. Here are some of the warn­ing signs:

Chest pains “The chest pains that spread to the left arm and jaw, which are typ­i­cal in men, are ab­sent in women in around 40% of cases,” ex­plains Dr Jean-Yves Le Heuzey, pres­i­dent of the French Fed­er­a­tion of Car­di­ol­ogy.

Th­ese can be re­placed by other signs like nau­sea, heart pal­pi­ta­tions dur­ing ex­er­cise, short­ness of breath, pain in the mid­dle of the back and un­usual lev­els of fa­tigue. When chest pains do oc­cur, they’re more likely to be felt in the side.

Dif­fi­culty in breath­ing Short­ness of breath can have many causes, which is why we don’t al­ways con­sider it a se­ri­ous symp­tom.

“The im­por­tant thing is to note if the dis­com­fort is new,” ex­plains sports car­di­ol­o­gist Dr Lau­rent Uzan, such as af­ter run­ning two miles rather than your usual six, or climb­ing three flights of stairs that usu­ally pose no prob­lem.

Don’t ig­nore pal­pi­ta­tions Al­though heart pal­pi­ta­tions are be­nign most of the time, they’re def­i­nitely worth keep­ing an eye on.

Th­ese feel­ings of missed heart­beats or fast thump­ing (tachy­car­dia) can be a tell­tale sign of heart dis­ease. They are never nor­mal when ex­pe­ri­enced with ex­er­tion, ex­plains Dr Uzan.

Dizzi­ness, nau­sea, faint­ing Episodes of faint­ing or faint­ness as­so­ci­ated with dizzy spells, vom­it­ing, nau­sea, or loss of con­scious­ness can be linked to heart-at­tack risks.

‘Reg­u­lar’ faint­ing (vaso­va­gal syn­cope) caused by low blood su­gar lev­els or strong emo­tions, for ex­am­ple, of­ten fol­low symp­toms such as sweat­ing and nau­sea.

Note that per­sis­tent di­ges­tive prob­lems and un­usual feel­ings of fa­tigue are symp­toms which car­di­ol­o­gists also rec­om­mend fol­low­ing up with a doc­tor. – AFP

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