Heart disease is the leading cause of death of women in the United States. The Women’s Heart Alliance and WomenHeart are raising awareness through a national campaign called #GetHeartChecked.
“Women need to recognize the signs and symptoms of heart disease and heart attack to take action,” said Dr. Toniya Singh, managing partner of St. Louis Heart and Vascular and member of the Women’s Heart Alliance National Scientific Board. “Once you are diagnosed, there are treatment options ranging from dietary changes to medication to procedures that can prolong a woman’s life and lessen her risk of a heart attack. If your diagnosis follows a heart attack, that is also treatable, depending on the severity of damage to your heart.”
Each woman will present with different symptoms of a heart attack, and these symptoms are often more subtle than in men. Some women experience several symptoms while others show all symptoms. There are women who show no symptoms before their heart attack. The sooner you can recognize your symptoms and take appropriate action, the better.
Symptoms to be aware of:
- Discomfort, tightness, uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes, or comes and goes
- Crushing chest pain
- Pressure or pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, upper back, jaw, or arms
- Dizziness or nausea
- Clammy sweats, heart flutters, or paleness
- Unexplained feelings of anxiety, fatigue or weakness – especially with exertion
- Stomach or abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
Some women mistakenly think only crushing chest pain is a symptom of a heart attack and, therefore, delay seeking medical care. If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should consult your cardiologist or primary care physician about your risk.
The Women’s Heart Alliance and WomenHeart have a number of resources to help women educate themselves about heart health. Please use the links below to learn more about prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Toniya Singh or any of the St. Louis Heart and Vascular cardiologists, please call us at (314) 741-0911 or visit our website at www.slhv.com.