Heart Disease Impacts Women

We’re not sure how common knowledge it is, but heart disease and stroke impacts up to 1 in 3 women every year, which is more than all cancers combined. Awareness that heart disease is so prominent among women has improved in the last decade, but is still not well known (when compared to awareness of breast cancer, for example, where the incidence is around 1 in 5).

Beyond that, it’s important to recognize the signs of a potentially lift threatening event. There are differences between men and women when discussing signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke. Let’s look at both.

Signs of Heart Attack in Women are Different Than Those in Men

Women may feel chest pain when experiencing heart attack, but not always. Women may feel jaw, neck, or upper back pain. They may also feel nausea or like they have indigestion. Women may also experience fainting. Men typically experience chest pain or squeezing with jaw pain and shortness of breath.

Signs of Stroke in Women

Women experience similar symptoms of stroke compared to men, such as weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg; trouble speaking, trouble walking, or severe headache. Women may also experience other symptoms, such as generalized weakness, fatigue, disorientation, or nausea/vomiting.

If you or someone you love experience any of these symptoms, it is always better to be safe than sorry; call 911 immediately. Treatment works best if done within the first hour of experiencing symptoms.

The Good News – Heart Disease and Stroke are Preventable

Most of the world’s cardiovascular diseases are preventable; up to 80%. There are certainly some genetic factors that we can’t control, but a healthy lifestyle is a choice. With an active lifestyle and healthy diet, your heart will thank you.

For additional information on heart disease in women, visit the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign.

Physical Therapy Can Help Increase Wellness

Our skilled physical therapists can create an individualized plan for you to help you on the road to being healthy to prevent disease risk.