Heart attacks are often thought of as being a risk mainly for older adult men. However, heart attacks can hit any man or women no matter how young they are. While disease risk significantly increases as one grows older, symptoms are noticeably different between men and women. Although men often have textbook symptoms, women may be struck with vague complaints that leave them wondering if perhaps they just need to rest in bed for the day. Because of this, heart attacks can be surprisingly deadly for older women in particular. Read on to discover the risk factors and symptoms of heart attacks in women as well as what can be done to prevent them.
Proper Heart Symptom Diagnosis for Older Women
When a woman does have a heart attack, she is more likely to be misdiagnosed by her physician than a man is. This is not necessarily due to gender bias but to the fact that symptoms vary significantly in men versus women. While men often show up to the hospital with crushing chest pain, left arm or jaw pain and shortness of breath and are quickly put on the cardiovascular treatment pathway, women may only present with fatigue, weakness, nausea, and sweatiness and may be diagnosed with an infectious disease. As doctors work to treat her for influenza or another disease, precious time can be wasted. Older women must understand that their most common heart attack symptoms may be pressure in the chest, shortness of breath, nausea, weakness, sweatiness, and back pain.