Women and Heart Disease

heart disease in women

It's not just for men any more.

The stereotype is that heart disease is a man’s problem. Yet since 1984, more women have died from cardiovascular disease (CVD) than men.¹ According to the American Heart Association, CVD kills more women than the next three causes of death combined. One explanation for this disturbing trend is that a woman’s symptoms, often different and more subtle than a man’s, are harder for patients and healthcare providers to identify.

Heart attack symptoms for women

The most common sign of a possible heart attack in women is some type of pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. But it’s not always severe. And it’s often not the most prominent symptom, which may include:

  • Neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Sudden nervousness, anxiety or a sense of unease

Because women tend to have blockages not only in the main arteries, but also in the smaller arteries, these symptoms can seem mild. And even though they’re more common in women, both genders can experience these discreet signs of a possible heart attack. In one study, one-third of the patients who had heart attacks had no chest pain.²

Recognizing these subtler signs can be the difference between life and death.

1 American Heart Association, 2012
2 American Heart Association, 2012 Source: NCHS

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Do you know
your risk for heart disease?

Find out with a "Love My Heart ” screening assessment.

heart in hand

By knowing your own specific set of risks, heart disease can be managed and even prevented.

The “Love My Heart” screenings give you the information you need to be proactive and stay heart-healthy.

Screenings are performed at Aiken Regional’s Health Information Center at the Aiken Family Y and Aiken Mall.

To schedule a “Love My Heart ” screening, call 803-641-5808.

There is a $25 fee for screening assessments.

Learn more about the Health Information Center >

A WE Sponsored program

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Aiken Regional Medical Centers is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.(UHS), a King of Prussia, PA-based company, that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.        

Aiken Regional Medical Centers

302 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801

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