Understanding Symptoms and Risk Factors of Heart Attack in Women


Earlier, a heart attack was considered a man’s disease. Women don’t even realize that they are prone to heart attacks. But truth be told, women die more of heart disease than breast cancer.  Gone are the days when the frequency of heart disease increases after menopause! Nowadays, heart attacks are common in young women as well.

 What is a Heart attack?

A heart attack usually occurs when one of the main arteries of the heart gets blocked, causing the heart muscle to die. This leads to cholesterol deposit in the arteries to break open and form a blood clot that blocks the flow. Women are likely to have blockages in the main arteries and the smaller arteries of the heart (called coronary microvascular disease). A Cardiac arrest happens when the heart stops completely from a dangerous rhythm, causing a person to pass out. An external shock (defibrillation) is usually needed to jump-start the heart.

 Symptoms of Heart Attack

Compared to men, women are less likely to have obvious symptoms. Some symptoms include:

- Uncomfortable pressure

- Squeezing

- Fullness, discomfort in the center of the chest ( may radiate to one or both arms, back, neck, jaws or even stomach)

- Shortness of breath

- Weakness

- Cold sweats

- Restlessness

- Indigestion.

 Sometimes there are even situations where it is hard to recognize that a heart attack is happening. You know something is wrong, but don’t know what, and incapable to think clearly. The discomfort for some time may settle only to come back later–with sudden and more severe pain.


Who all are at risk of a Heart attack? 

Heart attacks can happen to anyone, anytime. This means women, of all ages, should consider heart disease seriously. Increased risk of some diseases and factors also lead to a heart attack such as–

  •     High blood pressure
  •     High cholesterol
  •     Diabetes
  •     Obesity
  •     Mental stress
  •     Depression
  •     Smoking
  •     Inactivity
  •     Menopause, etc.


Other factors that increase the risk of heart disease are:-

- Pregnancy complications- high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.

- Inflammatory diseases- rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc.

- Radiation and chemotherapy used to treat breast cancer.
- Women with a family history of heart disease.


Can You Prevent Heart Attacks?

Women experiencing a heart attack take longer than men to ask for help and reach the hospital. 

Even if you are unsure whether it is serious, it is highly important to seek medical attention at Cardiology Services in chennai, if you are experiencing any new or distressing symptoms. It’s high time that women should change their attitude towards health and take care of themselves. Women often take themselves for granted or leave themselves at last for their families. They are ready to do anything for their family; but not for them. One should follow a healthy eating, regular exercise, healthy weight, proper medication, fitness, and a balanced lifestyle. Last but not least social support, optimism, strong family ties, and good friends are necessary to get rid of illness and make life better.

After all, Prevention is better than cure. Book an appointment now at Cardiology Services in chennai.