Women’s health: heart disease

ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – More than 30 million American adults were diagnosed with heart disease in 2018. The prevalence of heart disease in women is declining, but for decades it has been the leading cause of death in American women, according to the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention (CDC).

One in five women will die of heart disease, according to the CDC. Heart disease can take many forms, with coronary artery disease being the most common form in the United States. Coronary artery disease can decrease blood flow to the heart, causing a heart attack.

Risk factors for heart disease

  • Arterial hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight or obese
  • Bad eating habits
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol

Women need to understand the risks of heart disease and understand that symptoms aren’t just chest pain. They can also include symptoms typical of other conditions like indigestion, the flu, stress or anxiety, said Dr. Jessica Saunders, cardiologist at St. Peter’s Health Partners.

Symptoms of heart disease

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Tired
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen, or upper back
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins

COVID-19 has increased people’s stress levels over the past year, and many symptoms of heart disease could also be a sign of anxiety or panic attack. How can anyone tell the difference? The only way to firmly diagnose symptoms like heart disease or anxiety is to see a doctor and / or an EKG, said Dr Saunders.

“Women will often have what we call atypical symptoms or symptoms that are not the classic textbook description of overwhelming chest pain that comes on suddenly.” Symptoms such as jaw, neck, arms, upper abdomen / back or discomfort “will tend to appear with physical activity or stress and will disappear with rest,” she said. declared.

Reduce the risk of heart disease

  • Exercise
  • Stop smoking
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat healthy
  • See a health care provider regularly

*Source: American Heart Association

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