To start things in a not at all positive way, cancer has become the number one killer in 22 states throughout the country. However, heart disease still holds the number one national spot, killing over 600,000 American every year – that’s more than one in four American citizens a year. Things look even worse for women, as heart disease kills one in three American women every year.
Heart attacks manifest differently for women
As February was declared the National Heart Problems Awareness Month, it also got a pink ribbon as a symbol. It refers to the fact that despite heart disease being the number one national killer, it still is worse for women, since most don’t know that heart attacks manifest and act differently in them.
Instead of the usual symptoms associate with heart attack symptoms in men – arm or chest pain, women will go through a wide variety of symptoms most of the time. These symptoms include back nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, jaw pain, and even back pain.
As a generality, there will be some discomfort in the chest area, but it can seem like it’s radiating, and coming from a different place – the pain can manifest in the woman’s arms, shoulders, back, neck or jaw, or it can even seem to come from the stomach.
The main issue is that not only are women unaware of these subtle but lifesaving differences, but that most doctors seem to forget about them as well. Oh, and the way they manifest isn’t the only way heart attacks work differently for women.
Other different factors to take into account
Most of the at risk factors such as diabetes or overweightness are more dangerous in women than they are men, being responsible for both an increased chance of heart attack and for doctors having a harder time helping the woman survive her cardiac arrest.
Women tend to take more damage to their coronary arteries then men when suffering from a heart attack, and also to develop more issues related to blood vessels. This causes the rates of survival and recovery to drop drastically, especially for minorities – black and Hispanic women are far more likely to die from their heart attack than most women.
Because of February’s meaning starting this year, you should follow the pink ribbon and get informed about how heart disease can be prevented.
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