Why Women Have Unique Heart Health Needs

Heart health is important for everyone, but it doesn’t affect everyone equally. Take a few minutes to learn about the unique heart health needs of women. One of the most damaging misconceptions about heart disease is that it primarily affects older men. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is a renowned heart hospital that is dedicated to raising awareness about heart health .

Understanding Heart Disease
Heart disease can refer to multiple cardiac problems, and women are at an increased risk for several of them. Compared to men, women have a higher risk of coronary microvascular disease (MVD), also called cardiac syndrome X. This condition is characterized by damage or disease of the small coronary artery network of the heart. MVD is not as well understood as coronary heart disease (CHD) and it’s more difficult to detect than CHD. However, some researchers think that women’s risk of MVD may be attributable at least in part to declining estrogen levels during menopause. In addition to MVD, women are at a higher risk of suffering from stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Compared to men, women are more likely to die from CHD, even though this condition typically affects women later in life.

Recognizing the Signs of a Heart Attack
It isn’t just the unique risk factors that differentiate men’s and women’s heart health; it’s also the way heart attacks present themselves. Men are more likely than women to suffer from the crushing chest pain or pressure that is typically associated with heart attacks. Women are more likely to experience subtle symptoms like nausea, excessive fatigue, jaw pain, or upper abdominal pain that feels like heartburn. Cold sweats, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and the feeling of impending doom are other possible signs of a heart attack . Because women are more likely to experience subtle symptoms, they might delay seeking emergency care. But even if these symptoms are caused by other medical issues, it’s still important to get evaluated at a heart hospital, just in case. Taking the time to get emergency care can save lives.

The Heart Center at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center treats more cardiac patients than any other medical center in the Las Vegas area. Our heart care team offers groundbreaking treatments, specialized programs, and comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation. If you think you might be suffering a heart attack, please call 911 without delay. Otherwise, call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300.

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