What Every Woman Should Know About Heart Health

For whatever reason, heart disease is often regarded as a man’s problem. However, Dr. Erick E. Calderon of Lakewood Cardiovascular Consultants knows that heart disease is just as prevalent in women as it is in men — although the risk factors and symptoms vary.

That makes it more important than ever for women to understand the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of heart disease that are specific to them. With that, here are three big things all women should know about heart health. 

1. Heart disease doesn’t discriminate. 

For reasons not completely understood, men tend to suffer heart attacks earlier in life than women, which has led to a stigma of sorts that purports heart disease as a man’s disease.

However, according to Harvard Health Publishing, the risk of heart disease is the same for men and women (every one in three deaths is attributed to heart disease for both men and women) and heart disease is the leading cause of death for both sexes.

So, if you’re a woman who’s held the belief that women are somehow less susceptible to heart disease, now’s the time to shift your mindset: Know that everyone, regardless of sex, can develop heart disease. 

2. Heart attack symptoms can be different in women. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages women to keep a sharp eye on heart attack symptoms because they can manifest differently in women. Many women who suffer heart attacks don’t experience the typical chest pain — and if they’re not clutching their chest in dramatic Hollywood fashion, many women may not seek medical care for their symptoms.

In women, heart attack symptoms other than chest pain and pressure include:

3. Women have specific risk factors for heart disease

If you have existing health conditions, you should remain on high alert for heart disease and heart attack symptoms. Women who have the following health conditions have a higher risk of developing heart disease:

Lifestyle factors that affect your risk for diseases influence your risk for heart disease, too. For instance, if you smoke, don’t exercise, drink a lot of alcohol, or have high stress levels, you have a higher risk of developing heart disease. 

Menopause and pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia also increase a woman’s risk of heart disease. 

We urge you to contact Lakewood Cardiovascular Consultants with any questions about heart disease in women. Call 941-404-7958 or use our messaging platform to request information or to schedule an appointment.

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