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heart disease in womenSince 1984, women have been at a disadvantage when it comes to heart disease. In the United States, one in every four women dies from heart disease, making it the #1 cause of death for women. Even though it can often be overlooked, they are also at a higher risk for heart disease and other associated conditions. Continue reading to learn more about the symptoms and risk factors associated with heart disease in women, and steps you can proactively take to prevent it from affecting your life.

“I Thought I Had The Flu.”

Did you know that women can have different symptoms for heart attacks than men? Although heart disease is the number one killer for women in the U.S., most women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions. Typically, women think they are just dealing with acid reflux or the flu. Pain or pressure in the chest is the most commonly observed symptom of a heart attack in both men and women, but there are other signs and symptoms that are not as common. Here are some of the additional signs and symptoms:

  • Pain in the jaw, neck, shoulder, or upper back
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting

Risk Factors

Increased blood pressure, bad cholesterol and being overweight are universal risk factors across the board in both men and women when it comes to heart disease. Age also plays a role – the older you get, the more susceptible you likely are. There are additional risk factors which impact women more so than men, like eating too much sugar or yo-yo dieting. Repeatedly losing and regaining weight can increase your chances for getting heart disease as well. Other risk factors for heart disease include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Depression and stress
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Gestational diabetes

Lifestyle Changes

Don’t wait until you start experiencing the signs of heart disease to take the steps towards prevention. Preventing heart disease is really a matter of living an overall healthy lifestyle by eating right, exercising and combating the negative effects of stress. By taking all of these factors into consideration, you can start living a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle and prevent heart disease.

At AMS, we’re here for all of your cardiovascular health needs. We bring state-of-the-art cardiovascular care to our patients. Our physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are lifelong learners on the “cutting edge” of cardiovascular medicine. Our mission is to treat patients with the respect, empathy and professionalism that they deserve. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians!

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