Women & Heart Disease

Learn How to Prevent Heart Disease in Wilmington, DE

While heart disease is more common in men that doesn't mean that it is rare in women. In fact, it's still the number one cause of death for women in the U.S. One of the reasons death rates are so high among women is that the warning signs of a heart attack or similar cardiac event can manifest differently for women than they do for men. Like many other diseases, educating yourself on heart disease and making regular checkups with your doctor will make a tremendous difference in your ability to prevent complications.

Keep Track of the Warning Signs

Heart disease is often called the “silent killer” as it rarely comes with noticeable symptoms. In some cases, however women will sometimes experience pain in the chest (angina), jaw, throat, or back when engaging in physical activity if they are at risk of heart disease.

The seconds before a cardiac event usually come with some strange sensations. It is important to keep an eye out for these as they give you a chance to react and alert someone that you need medical care.

The warning signs for a cardiac event include:

  • Heart Attack – Pain or burning sensation in the chest is a major warning factor for heart attacks. You may also have difficulty breathing or feel unusually fatigued. Despite popular belief, heart attacks are not always precluded by pain in the left arm.
  • Stroke – Slurring of speech, numb feeling in the legs, difficulty speaking, and drooping of one side of the face are all warning signs of a stroke and you should make your way to a hospital immediately if you experience one or a combination of these symptoms.

Something else to keep in mind is that women do not always experience chest pains before a cardiac event. In fact, it is much rarer for women to experience these pains than men, and you should still seek medical care if you experience unusual nausea, vomiting, discomfort or dizziness.

Know Your Risk Factors

Many of the risk factors for heart disease are the same for both men and women, but there are certain conditions that have been shown to be a greater risk for women than they are for men. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Menopause
  • Depression
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Stress and emotional trauma (“Broken Heart Syndrome”)

Contact Saint Francis Healthcare’s Cardiovascular Services at 302.421.4828 for comprehensive heart health services.