Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. However, there is a gender gap when it comes to diagnosing and treating it. Did you know that women are more likely to die than men after experiencing their first heart attack? The reason for this finding is due to a multitude of factors, including, but not limited to the actual symptoms women develop and also how heart disease is diagnosed in women.
It is not uncommon for men and women to exhibit different signs and symptoms of heart attacks.. While a woman’s symptoms, like men, are commonly chest pain, women tend to also report other symptoms, such as, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and upper back pain.
In regards to diagnostic testing, an exercise EKG treadmill stress test alone is often less accurate in women than men when making the diagnosis of heart disease. One way to improve the accuracy of the test is to perform it in conjunction with some type of cardiac imaging.
An actual heart attack can be confirmed with simple tests, such as, an EKG and/or a troponin blood test. These tests along with a complete physical assessment and history by a physician can make the diagnosis of a heart attack and quickly determine the appropriate treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack:
• Stomach or abdominal pain
• Crushing chest pain
• Dizziness or nausea
• Unexplained feelings of anxiety, fatigue or weakness - especially with exertion
• Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
• Discomfort, tightness, uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing in the
center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes, or comes and goes
• Pressure or pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, upper back, jaw, or arms.
• Clammy sweats, heart flutters, or paleness
Tips for Leading a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle:
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Don’t smoke
• Exercise every day (even if it’s light exercise)
• Eat heart-healthy foods
Join us at the AHA Heart Walk tomorrow!
Approximately 1,500 people will join Team Indiana University Health to fight cardiovascular disease and stroke and to promote the heart-health benefits of exercise at the 2012 Indianapolis Heart Walk this weekend.
8 am: Park opens
9:30 am: Opening ceremonies
9:45 am: Zumba warm up by IU Health, 5K run begins
10 am: Walk begins
White River State Park, Celebration Plaza
801 W. Washington St., Indianapolis
Watch the video above to see what IU Health North Hospital is doing to promote the heart walk!