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Women and Heart Disease
Women's Health

Women and Heart Disease

By Lisa Young MD, Cardiology
Posted: February 3, 2020

Sudden, severe chest pain is a telltale sign of a heart attack for men, but that is not necessarily the case for women. The symptoms experienced by women can be vastly different when a heart attack is involved.

Unfortunately, we don’t know why women usually have symptoms different from men. Typically, symptoms are less specific, making it harder to diagnose heart disease. Fatigue, back pain, and shortness of breath are more common in women. Nausea, palpitations and indigestion are also common. 

Heart attacks can occur at any age, but they tend to occur in older women.

Estrogen is thought to help protect women against heart disease. Subsequently, the incidence of heart disease increases as women age and become postmenopausal. Surgery that results in menopause can also increase the risk of heart disease. 


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The best thing women can do to prevent a heart attack is to take care of their health. There are several ways to do this:

  • Become and stay active. Exercise at least 30 minutes per day.
  • Eat healthy foods, including lean meats and lots of fruits and vegetables. Minimize fried foods.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. 
  • If you are a smoker, quit smoking.
  • Control your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. 
  • Manage your stress. 

If you are concerned about your heart health, call 901-758-9898 and ask to make an appointment with a cardiologist.

Still Have Questions About Your Heart Health?

Schedule an appointment with one of our cardiologists.

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