Signs of heart attack in women
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