February is National Heart Month. It’s also the month for love and fluttering hearts everywhere. But is the fluttering a symptom of love, or something else? Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of American women over the age of 34? Many women are not aware of the life-threatening risk that even the mildest symptoms may have. For these reasons, Surepoint Emergency Center would like women everywhere to take time out for themselves this month and get checked. Show your heart some love.
Common Heart Problems that Affect Women
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, refers to a wide range of problems that affect the heart. Heart disease includes diseases of the blood vessels, including stroke, coronary artery disease and vascular disease. The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease. Common heart problems that affect women include:
- Heart failure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Atrial fibrillation
- Heart valve disease
- Chest pain and discomfort (angina) (affects women more than men). There are two specific types of angina: stable angina and variant angina.
- Cardiac syndrome X (affects women more than men).
Symptoms of a Heart Attack in Women
The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary artery disease, which is due to a buildup of plaque on the walls of the arteries that supply your blood to the heart. This is known as atherosclerosis. When the blood flow is blocked, the heart muscle begins to die, which leads to a heart attack. Women who are having a heart attack are more likely than men to be misdiagnosed, which means women are less likely to get the necessary treatment before serious damages to their heart occurs. It is extremely important to keep in mind that women are more likely to have nontraditional symptoms of a heart attack and women are also more likely to have a silent heart attack, which is a heart attack that doesn’t cause any obvious symptoms, such as pain in the chest. Heart attack symptoms of women may include:
- Pain and/or discomfort in the center of the chest. The pain may be mild or strong and it can last for more than a few minutes, or it can stop and come back
- Pain in the neck, back, throat or jaw
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty breathing
There are preventative measures you can take that may help to reduce your risk of having a heart attack, including getting screenings and regular checkups from the doctor, staying active, eating healthy and avoiding unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking. Getting to the ER as quickly as possible is essential, because the treatments for opening clogged arteries work best when administered within the first hour after a heart attack begins. If you think you are having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately if possible. If not, find the nearest Surepoint Emergency Center. We are equipped to handle:
- Chest Pain
- Heart Attacks
- Congestive Heart Failure
- High Blood Pressure/Hypertension
- Stroke Attacks
Remember, it’s never too late to get healthy. Take care of your heart and leave the fluttering to love!
Surepoint Emergency Center is a modern emergency medical facility open 24/7. As an alternative to the traditional hospital ER experience, we offer convenience and minimal wait time, along with highly-trained emergency medical staff and state-of-the-art equipment.
Our top priority is bringing high quality emergency care, quickly and easily to your family. We are committed to making patients feel better faster in a comforting and compassionate environment.
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