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Women and Heart Disease

Don't think that women are less exposed to risks of heart disease. They are equally vulnerable as men. In the US, women are more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer. In fact, heart disease is the number-one killer for women aged 65 and above. Accordingly, women should pay extra attention to their heart.

Chest pain is one of the usual signs of heart attack. Other symptoms include pain in the neck, jaw, and upper back. It may be accompanied by shortness of breath, sudden fatigue, nausea, and dizziness. In certain situations, there is also vomiting and indigestion.

According to Dr. Grace Warner, attending cardiologist at Arizona Heart Institute, most signs of heart disease are often dismissed as symptoms of stress, anxiety or depression. Furthermore, women's symptoms are more subtle compared to men. The typical “chest pains” is not common for women, and they may not recognize it as heart attack. As a result, women tend to ignore these symptoms.

Age and family history play a huge role in heart disease. Health complications such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol also contribute to the risk of heart problems. In addition, smoking increases the risk of heart disease. Over half of all incidents of heart attack in women are smoking-related.

To reduce the likelihood of heart diseases, it is important to maintain a regular exercise regimen. Walking, jogging, swimming or cycling gives the heart a good workout. Eating a low-fat diet also decreases the risk of heart disease.

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Welcome to our UpToDate library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

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