WOMEN & HEART DISEASE: THE REAL STORY
by Dr. Jacqueline A. Eubany, MD FACC FHRS
Although chest discomfort is the most common symptom of a heart attack in men, fewer women present with this classic symptom. According to a recent study, forty-three percent of women did not have any chest discomfort at any time during their cardiac event. Women’s symptoms tend to be subtle, and they generally experience these symptoms up to a month prior to having a heart attack. In a study performed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that examined women’s symptoms prior to a heart attack, it was found that 70% of women complained of unusual fatigue, 48% had sleep disturbances, 42% reported shortness of breath, 39% complained of indigestion, and 35% experienced anxiety. During their heart attack, 58% of women had shortness of breath, 55% complained of weakness, 43% felt unusual fatigue, 39% reported a cold sweat, and 39% experienced dizziness.
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