Women experience heart attacks differently than men

You’ve seen the drama play out on television and in movies. When a man experiences a heart attack, he clutches his chest and moans in pain. But for women, the symptoms can be different, explained Dr. Tina Shah, assistant professor of medicine – cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine.

“A significant number of women do not experience the typical debilitating chest pain associated with a heart attack,” she said.

Check out the infographic below for insights into how women experience heart attacks.

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Shah said if you experience any of these symptoms to seek medical attention immediately.

While many risk factors apply to both men and women, women should be aware of risk factors that include:

  • Low levels of estrogen after menopause
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Age
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Hypertension
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

“It is important to talk to your doctor to understand the risk factors, how they differ in women compared to men, and then to control these risk factors through preventive measures to reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease and death,” she said.

Additional Resources

Check out six small ways you can improve your heart health.

High blood pressure and heart health: What you need to know.

What do terms like cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL, systolic and diastolic mean? Find out how they represent your heart health.

Get more insight into heart health.

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