AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health


Quit obsessing about your breasts and start checking on your heart. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. It outnumbers all types of cancers, yet most women are unaware of heart attack symptoms. We get mammograms every year, and we’re constantly checking for lumps in our breasts. However, few of us are making conscious efforts to prevent heart disease.

It’s time to focus on the heart. According to a study conducted between 2001 and 2006, women are twice as likely to die from a STEMI heart attack compared to men. Another study conducted as recently as last month proved that women younger than 55 who experience heart attacks have a higher risk of death. Below are a few factors that may be contributing to the disturbing trend.

1) No Awareness – Heart disease is the number one killer of women, yet most people don’t know it. Women are unaware of the possible symptoms of heart disease. When you’re ignorant, it’s easy to brush off symptoms until these become deadly.

2) Busy Lives and Self-Doubters – We always make fun of our husbands, fathers, or brothers for refusing to go to the doctor. We fret when they overwork when they have a cold. But we’re hypocrites. We will ignore every symptom we are experiencing while trying to take care of everyone else. When we do acknowledge something is wrong, we second-guess ourselves. “Is it all in my head? Is this chest pain or heartburn? I’m just being silly.” This type of thinking is especially dangerous if the symptoms seem completely unrelated to a heart attack.

3) Strange Symptoms – Symptoms often present themselves in women differently than in men. Women younger than 55 often don’t have chest pain. Instead, they experience nausea or another seemingly unrelated symptom. Women may also experience back pain, a tight jaw, or pain in one or both arms. Alarmingly, many women don’t experience any pain at all.

4) Emergency Rooms Look for Typical “Male” Symptoms – Women are undertreated not only because we’re stubborn about going to the doctor. When we get to the ER, our symptoms can be completely different from what our ER doctors are trained for. In textbooks, medical doctors and personnel are taught the typical symptoms for a heart attack in an older adult male.

In fact, if a woman experiencing a heart attack arrives at the emergency room, she is less likely to receive the proper treatment than a male. They are 14 percent less likely to receive aspirin, and 25 percent less likely to receive reperfusion therapy.

Prevent Heart Disease

Because the fatalities in the war against heart disease are so high, the American Heart Association created an organization that educates women about their heart health. “Go Red for Women” is a great resource for women who want to prevent or treat heart disease. It has the information you need to learn about symptoms, risks, and prevention.

You examine your breasts for cancer. Why shouldn’t you be taking similar steps to prevent heart disease and a heart attack? Women are more likely to die from a heart attack than from cancer. Even if your family has a strong history of heart disease, lifestyle choices can help prevent the development of the disease. So make the right choices now.

Citations:
  • Frank Bonilla. “Prevent Heart Disease”. February 22, 2011. Online image. Flickr. July 8, 2013.
Featured images:
  • License: Creative Commons image source

K. Morris is a freelance writer interested in many different topics, including the increase of heart disease in men and women in the United States. A number of her write-ups have been used by CIA Medical and other companies that are in the healthcare business.

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Categories: General

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