As women, particularly women of color, knowing the symptoms of a heart attack is imperative for our health and livelihood.
Black women of any age have a higher incidence of heart attacks in comparison to white women. The risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, are also higher in black and Hispanic women versus white women.
Heart attacks in women: An overview
Heart attacks and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women, although the survival rate for women has improved. Still, the death rates in women for heart attacks outpace the death rates in men, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
What causes heart disease in women
One frequent cause of a heart attack in women is plaque buildup in the arteries. Women suffer blood vessel damage, which reduces the blood flow to the heart, then causes a heart attack.
The pain from a heart attack occurs when one of the arteries supplying blood to the heart becomes blocked.
In addition to the comparison with white women, high blood pressure and diabetes are stronger risk factors in women versus men as well.
Women are reported to be less likely referred for cardiac rehabilitation in comparison to men and less likely to complete the rehabilitation if they are referred. The same is the case for guideline medications – they are less used by women.
Signs of a heart attack in women
If you are experiencing the symptoms and signs of a heart attack, please call 911 as soon as possible and/or get to the hospital for emergency attention as soon as possible.
You will feel the following in the center of your chest: fullness, pain, pressure, or squeezing. These feelings may last for more than a few minutes, or they will go away and return.
You may also experience a shortness of breath, whether there’s a feeling of discomfort in your chest or not.
There may also be discomfort or pain in one or both arms, the back, jaw, neck, or stomach.
Finally, you may break out in a