Head for the emergency room if you have any of these signs of heart attack!
Do not wait for more than 5 minutes at most to call 911. Your odds of survival are much better if you get quick treatment.
If you believe most heart attacks are experienced by men you may be surprised by the latest studies.
It's true that men have more heart attacks and have them earlier in life. But women have lower chances of surviving them.
Of the nearly 500,000 heart attack deaths that occur each year, over 233,000 are women, and more than 87,000 women die each year of stroke.
By comparison, about 43,000 women die each year from breast cancer and over 55,000 from lung cancer.
According to Dr. Steinbaum, director of The Heart and Vascular Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, women often struggle to breathe a few weeks before experiencing a heart attack.
"If you are used to doing a certain amount of activity and then, all of a sudden, you can't get enough air, that is when I get concerned," says Steinbaum.
Irregular pain in the lower or upper back can indicate stress to the heart muscle, Dr.Steinbaum says.
"I had one patient who would feel her jaw start to hurt every time she got on a treadmill," Steinbaum says. "But once she stopped, her jaw pain would go away. She went to a dentist, but there wasn't anything wrong with her teeth."
This discomfort continued until the woman experienced a heart attack. When she came into Steinbaum's office after the event, it was evident that the jaw pain was directly linked to what was happening in her heart.
"Sometimes the heart isn't able to give a good signal and, instead, the pain can radiate to the neck, jaw and back," she says.
Flu-like symptoms are often reported weeks and days before a heart attack. In fact, as Steinbaum explains, TV personality Rosie O'Donnell reportedly regurgitated a few times before she experienced a heart attack in early 2012.
"A women's intuition is a very strong thing; don't ever discount it," Steinbaum says. "Ninety percent of my women patients who've just had a heart attack tell me that they knew it was their heart all along. That they just had a feeling."
Katie Morell reported in a March 2014 issue the Globe and Mail,
"New research shows evidence of a gender divide in hospitals that may be putting some women at a disadvantage when it comes to acting on signs of a heart attack.
"A study published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that women experiencing acute heart problems waited longer than men, on average, to receive important treatments in the accepted benchmark times, potentially putting their health at further risk."
Studies show that 44 percent of women die within a year compared to 27 percent of men. During the first four years following a heart attack, the rate of having a second attack is 20 percent for women compared with 16 percent for men.
In addition, women tend to be about 10 years older than men when they have a heart attack and they are more likely to have other conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure, making it all the more vital that they get proper treatment fast.
In summary be alert to the signs of heart attack for women, and if you think you might have one or more then don't just worry about it...take quick and decisive action to call 911. Better safe than sorry!
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