The Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women
Pain in the chest, neck, jaw, or back might be caused by heart disease. Females with heart disease, on the other hand, may have a variety of symptoms. Females are more prone to have “atypical” symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, or none at all.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, heart disease is the top cause of mortality among women in the United States. However, just 56% are aware of the danger.
This article discusses the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of female heart disease. It also looks at treatment discrepancies between men and women and ways to reduce the risk.
Symptoms of Heart Disease
The symptoms of heart illness differ depending on the kind of heart disease. Among the most prevalent symptoms are:
- angina, which refers to pain from blockages in the blood vessels and can cause chest pain and discomfort
- pain in the jaw, neck, throat, upper abdomen, or back
- shortness of breath during physical activity
However, there are significant disparities in how heart disease symptoms emerge in men and women. Females outnumber males in the following categories:
- less likely to show symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD)
- somewhat less likely to experience chest pain
- more likely to experience symptoms that can seem unrelated to the heart, such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and stomach pain
- more likely to experience angina that does not get better with rest, or that occurs during normal daily activities rather than during exercise
These variances are due to physiological factors. Females have smaller blood arteries and experience “heart discomfort” differently than guys.
They are also more prone to develop less visible kinds of heart disease, such as microvascular disease. This implies that women are more likely to get blockages in their tiny blood arteries or “side roads” of the heart, whereas males are more likely to have macrovascular disease or blockages in their “highways” of the heart.
If a person notices any symptoms of heart disease, they should seek medical attention right soon.
Diagnosis of Heart Disease
A doctor will normally undertake the following to identify cardiac disease:
Examine your medical history: Doctors may inquire as to when the symptoms began, what causes them to worsen or improve, and about the patient’s overall health and lifestyle.
Blood tests: Blood tests may be performed, which may include a complete blood cell count, lipid profile, C-reactive protein test, salt and potassium testing, and organ function tests.
Noninvasive tests: They should be performed, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiography, arrhythmia monitor, cardiac MRI, or stress test.
Invasive tests: If doctors want additional information, they may do more invasive tests. This might include cardiac catheterization, a procedure in which a doctor inserts a wire into an artery to evaluate blood flow in tiny blood arteries.
If a person has risk factors for heart disease, even if they have little or no symptoms, a doctor may order these tests.
Treatment of Cardiac Disease
The therapy for heart disease is determined by a variety of factors, including the kind of illness, the stage of the disease, and any other problems a person may have. It might include a mix of:
- dietary and lifestyle changes
- medications to lower cholesterol, manage blood pressure, or prevent blood clots
- medical procedures or surgery
Diet and lifestyle adjustments may be sufficient for some people to minimize their risk of heart disease by controlling their weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. People with heart problems, on the other hand, may require medicine. Typical instances of Trusted Source include:
- calcium channel blockers
- ACE inhibitors
Patients with more serious cardiac problems may require surgery. This might involve the following:
- percutaneous coronary intervention to place stents or open blocked arteries
- coronary artery bypass surgery to repair blocked arteries
- valve replacement or repair
- pacemaker or balloon catheter implantation
- maze surgery to redirect the electrical signals in the heart and correct atrial fibrillation