HOUSTON, Texas — A lot of people wore red Friday in support of the American Heart Association’s annual 'Go Red for Women' day. It’s designed to increase awareness for women’s heart health and heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for women.
But what we’ve come to know about the symptoms of a heart attack may not be the same for women, as it is for men.
Chest pains, nausea and shortness of breath have become synonymous with the symptoms of a heart attack, but the reality is those symptoms are more common for men.
For women, the signs can be completely different.
Symptoms in men include squeezing chest pain, shoulder and arm pain, anxiety, nausea, weakness and shortness of breath.
But for women, more common symptoms of a heart attack include abdominal pain, heartburn, confusion, dizziness and fatigue.
Cardiologist and Memorial Hermann Dr. Ross Brown say women’s symptoms can be atypical and sometimes, vague. Even just the feeling that something is not right.
“Sometimes we say, just a sensation of impending doom, and uneasy sensation," Dr. Brown said.
Because of this, a heart attack can be harder to diagnose.
“Unfortunately, it leads to delays in care, delays in diagnosis, when time is really of the essence," Dr. Brown said.
So he says knowing your body and knowing these symptoms can help you realize when something is wrong.
“Know your history, know your family history, know your numbers, know your cholesterol, your blood pressure, and do everything you can to minimize your risk," Dr. Brown said.
He says living a healthy lifestyle, eating a healthy diet and quitting smoking are all ways you can minimize your risk.
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