If you were to be asked what the number one killer disease of women is, chances are your answer would be a type of cancer. The disconcerting truth is that it’s heart disease, which includes heart attacks, angina and stroke, among others. Here, Dr. Norazlina Binti Mohd Yusof, a consultant cardiologist at Prince Court Medical Centre, lists down its warning signs of heart attacks in women and tips on taking better care of your heart.
Signs Of Heart Attacks In Women
Heart attack symptoms can be different for women compared to men. It can also come in different forms for different women or at different times. Sometimes, even flu-like symptoms could actually be warning of an oncoming attack. According to Dr Norazlina, the signs of heart attacks in women can be any of the following:-
- Flu-like symptoms such as light-headedness, shoulder and back pain, and lethargy.
- A sharp pain radiating in the jaw as it shares the same nerve roots as the heart.
- Chest pains – though this symptom is not as commonly presented in women as in men.
- Stomach pains –the heart sits very near to the stomach and as such, pain in the heart could be misdiagnosed as such.
If you experience any of these symptoms and suspect it may be a heart attack, get help immediately. Call the ambulance or ask someone to bring you to the Emergency Ward as quickly as possible.
How To Better Care For Your Heart’s Health
Of course, the best way to prevent heart disease is to take better care of your heart. Dr Norazlina shares some tips on how to take better care of your heart for women.
- Get your blood and pressure checked every three to four months especially once you enter the perimenopause stage (the period before menopause).
- Monitor your cholesterol levels closely, e.g. every 6 months to check if it is still within normal limits, or 3-4 monthly, if it is abnormal. Seek medical advice if it is abnormally high.
- Abstain from alcohol – prior research touting the benefits of consuming a moderate amount of alcohol has since been debunked.
- Quit smoking.
- Squeeze in exercise – a minimum of 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- If you’re diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension – stay vigilant with check-ups as research has shown you are more likely to develop true hypertension and coronary heart disease later in life.