When it comes to heart attacks, women truly are different

March 8, 2017

iStock-472529814We have heard for some time that women’s heart-attack symptoms are very different from men’s, such as pain in the shoulder or jaw, nausea and fatigue.

Though the symptoms may differ, they’re worth paying attention to. One in 4 women in the United States dies of heart disease, which is about the same proportion as men, according to federal government agencies. The American Heart Association puts the death toll even higher at 1 in 3 women.

The Washington Post recently published a series of reports exploring the differences between men and women when it comes to heart attacks, as well as what women should know, including:

  • Small vessels may show less blockage and make heart attacks difficult to detect ahead of time.
  • Extreme emotional stress can make women vulnerable to heart disease.
  • Hormones play a role. While premenopausal women have less cardiovascular disease than men, post-menopause women equal men.

Other Post stories explore why women with diabetes are especially prone to heart disease and why many women do not undergo cardiac rehabilitation.

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