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Dr Nighat reveals heart attacks symptoms in women

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A heart attack, medically referred to as myocardial infarction, occurs when blood supply to the heart comes to a sudden halt due to a blockage. This has many known causes, but a major reason is a build-up of arterial plaque, which may occur in different arteries for both men and women. Early research suggests this could cause subtle differences in the heart disease symptoms experienced by men and women.

Indigestion – medically known as dyspepsia – will affect most people at some point over the course of their life.

It’s rarely a sign of anything serious, prednisone opiates but there is evidence linking the condition to the onset of a heart attack, as both conditions share similar features.

In early research published in the journal Circulation, researchers discovered indigestion was a common occurrence in women in the month leading up to their cardiac event.

Around 39 percent of the cohort reported indigestion before the heart attack, but fewer women reported indigestion during the event itself.

The aim of the study was to accurately describe the women’s coronary heart disease symptoms in order to provide a complete picture of the warning signs.

The researchers stated that in earlier work of theirs, it had been established that between 85 to 90 percent of women identified an array of symptoms in the period leading up to a heart attack.

The top five most common symptoms women reported experiencing in the month before the event was:

  • Unusual fatigue (71 percent)
  • Sleep disturbance (48 percent)
  • Shortness of breath (42 percent)
  • Indigestion (39 percent)
  • Anxiety (36 percent)

During the heart attack, women reported having:

  • Shortness of breath (58 percent)
  • Weakness (55 percent)
  • Unusual fatigue (43 percent)
  • Cold sweat (39 percent)
  • Dizziness (39 percent)

The NHS explains: “The symptoms of heart attack can also be similar to indigestion.

“For example, they may include a feeling or heaviness in your chest, a stomach ache or heartburn.

“A heart attack can happen at any time, including while you’re resting.”

In 2019, The British Heart Foundation contended that claims of atypical heart attack symptoms in women are a “long-held myth”.

It asserted that women who have heart attacks experience the same key symptoms as men, emphasising the need for both sexes to recognise and act on the warning signs.

The health body pointed out that incorrectly assuming that women suffer different symptoms than men could lead to misdiagnosis, delayed treatment and less intensive medical interventions.

This has led to widespread discussions about the potential causes of gender differences in heart attack presentations.

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital suggest differences could be put down to the fact that men and women experience cholesterol buildup in different areas of the body.

The healthy body explains that heart attacks can occur as a result of cholesterol plaque building up inside the walls of the arteries.

Heart disease, which is only partly related to an accumulation of cholesterol, causes damage to the major blood vessels.

“Men typically develop this plaque buildup in the largest arteries that supply blood to the heart,” explains the health body.

It adds: “Women are more likely to develop this build-up in the heart’s smallest blood vessels, known as the microvasculature.”

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