Heart Attacks in Men vs. Women

By Ruby Cemental

1 of every 5 deaths in the United States is related to cardiovascular disease. Men and women are both susceptible to having heart attacks, but there are differences that each gender may experience. But what are they?

Basic Cardiovascular Knowledge

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. Below you will find a list of "Life's Simple 7". This is the list the American Heart Association compiled to clarify what factors are directly associated with heart attacks.

  1. Smoking
  2. Physical activity
  3. Healthy diet
  4. Body weight
  5. Control of cholesterol
  6. Blood pressure
  7. Blood sugar

It is important for us to work on correcting any bad habits we may have now, and for us to keep educating our family members to abide by these health standards.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Although heart attacks may occur in both men and women, there are various symptoms that differ. Continue along below to gain an understanding of common symptoms and unique symptoms experienced by each gender.

General Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that the 5 major symptoms of heart attacks include:

  • Paint or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Chest pains
  • Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

These symptoms can be found in both men and women. However, there are other symptoms that only men experience and that only women experience. 

Gender-Specific Characteristics

Men are more likely to experience heart attacks at an earlier age in life. And there may be no symptoms at all. Half of the men that die suddenly from heart attacks have no symptoms. Additionally, more men experience heart attacks than women. Between 70% and 89% of sudden heart attacks are experienced by men.

Women may experience a heart attack with no chest pressure at all. However, they may experience nausea or vomiting, which are oftentimes confused with acid reflux or the flu. After menopause, the risk of a heart attack increases for women. 

The onset of a heart attack can occur in men and women at any time, but understanding the potential symptoms is critical for your safety and health. And following "Life's Simple 7" is an excellent way to better yourself and reduce the risk of experiencing a heart attack.

For more information on keeping your heart healthy, check out our blog post: Key Heart Disease Risk Factors to Watch For.

Caring Senior Service has the experience, compassion, and training necessary for comprehensive home care, and we also offer a wide range of home care services that are all designed to make life easier for seniors and their families. To learn more about the services we provide, contact your local Caring office today!

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Tags: Heart health