Female Heart Attack Symptoms

Baptist Health Louisville: Female Heart Attack Symptoms

Bianca Ummat, MD, discusses female heart attack symptoms and what women can do to help prevent a heart attack.

Female Heart Attack Symptoms HealthTalks Transcript

Bianca Ummat, MD, Interventional Cardiology:
Heart disease in women is very common, and cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer for women overall in the United States. The two most important things a woman can do to protect her heart and keep it healthy is to quit smoking and to exercise every day. Heart attack symptoms in women can be varied and atypical from what we consider as the classic symptoms of a heart attack. Often, women don’t have chest pain, but they have a lot of other associated symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, extreme fatigue or exhaustion, pain that radiates into their neck or jaw. Women often present with these atypical symptoms and should be treated with high suspicion, if we believe they might be having a heart attack.

It’s important not to ignore the signs of a heart attack because, if you are having a heart attack, and there is a blockage in one of the arteries, the sooner you are able to get to the hospital, the more quickly we are able to relieve that blockage or open up that blockage in the coronary artery. Our first step is to take that patient to the cardiac catheterization lab and when we find that blockage, we are able to relieve it by deploying a stint inside the coronary artery. The faster this happens, the more likely you are to have a full recovery and avoid having any long-term damage to the heart muscle and its function. The goal is for you to be able to live your life as healthy as possible.

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