Medically reviewed by Nieca Goldberg, M.D.
Heart problems (CVD) is the no. 1 reason behind demise in girls within the U.S. However solely 44 out of 100 girls know that CVD is their largest threat. Understanding the indicators and signs of CVD and when to speak to your healthcare supplier (HCP) can save your life.
What’s heart problems?
CVD contains any illness that impacts the guts or blood vessels. There are a lot of various kinds of CVD, however among the varieties that have an effect on girls probably the most are coronary artery illness, arrhythmia and stroke.
- Coronary artery illness (also called coronary coronary heart illness) is the main reason behind demise in girls. It’s additionally the commonest kind of coronary heart illness and is attributable to a buildup of plaque within the partitions of coronary arteries, the tube-like vessels that deliver blood to the guts.
- Arrhythmia is when the guts beats irregularly, that means it’s both beating too sluggish or too quick or in one other irregular approach. The most typical kind of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation (AFib), when irregular beating within the higher chambers of the guts make it troublesome for blood to stream to the decrease chambers.
- Stroke is when a burst or blocked blood vessel stops blood stream to the mind, inflicting the mind cells to die. There are a lot of various kinds of stroke, however 8 out of 10 strokes are preventable.
What are the danger components for growing heart problems?
Prevention is essential in terms of decreasing your threat of CVD. Some components which will improve your threat embody:
- Excessive ldl cholesterol
- Having obese or weight problems
- Consuming an unhealthy food plan
- Not getting sufficient train
- Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol
- Stress and despair
The feminine reproductive system additionally provides extra threat components that males don’t have:
- Getting your first interval earlier than the age of 11
- Going by way of menopause earlier than the age of 40
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Experiencing sure being pregnant problems:
- Gestational diabetes (diabetes throughout being pregnant)
- Preterm supply or delivering a child with low or excessive delivery weight
- Hypertensive issues of being pregnant, corresponding to preeclampsia and hypertension of being pregnant
CVD is the primary reason behind demise in new mothers.
What are the signs of heart problems I ought to pay attention to?
The signs of CVD look totally different in girls than males, so it’s vital to know what to look out for and when to contact your HCP.
For coronary artery illness, having a coronary heart assault is commonly the primary signal. As with males, the commonest coronary heart assault symptom in girls is chest ache or discomfort. However in girls, indicators of getting a coronary heart assault is probably not apparent. They might expertise different signs which can be sometimes much less related to coronary heart assault, corresponding to shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and again or jaw ache.
In accordance with the American Coronary heart Affiliation, name 911 you probably have any of those signs:
- Uncomfortable stress, squeezing, fullness or ache within the middle of your chest that lasts various minutes, or goes away and comes again.
- Ache or discomfort in a single or each arms, the again, neck, jaw or abdomen.
- Shortness of breath with or with out chest discomfort.
- Breaking out in a chilly sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
Signs for AFib may embody:
- Racing coronary heart
- Coronary heart palpitations (a sense that your coronary heart is fluttering or skipping a beat)
- Shortness of breath
- Chest ache
For ladies, feeling weak spot or fatigue is an extra symptom to concentrate on. It’s additionally widespread for ladies to expertise any of those signs extra usually or for longer durations of time than males.
Stroke signs can come on rapidly. Utilizing the American Stroke Affiliation’s acronym F.A.S.T. may help you bear in mind what signs to look out for:
F = Face Drooping – Does one facet of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the particular person to smile. Is the particular person’s smile uneven?
A = Arm Weak spot – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the particular person to boost each arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = Speech Problem – Is speech slurred?
T = Time to name 911 – Stroke is an emergency. Each minute counts. Name 911 instantly. Observe the time when any of the signs first seem.
Another stroke signs may embody:
- Confusion, bother talking or understanding speech
- Problem seeing in a single or each eyes
- Problem strolling, dizziness, lack of stability or coordination
- Extreme headache with no identified trigger
What if my healthcare supplier dismisses my signs?
There’s a false impression, even amongst some HCPs, that ladies develop CVD at a lot decrease charges than males. One research discovered that each gender bias and organic variations between women and men could also be guilty for the variations in prognosis and therapy of CVD in girls.
For those who expertise any signs of CVD, discuss to your HCP immediately. Be clear and direct about what signs you’re having, how a lot ache or discomfort they trigger you, how lengthy you’ve had them, and the way usually you expertise them.
In case your supplier dismisses your signs otherwise you don’t really feel heard by them, you will have the correct to get a second opinion from one other supplier. Ask if you happen to may be referred to a cardiovascular specialist or discover a new supplier in the identical or totally different apply.
In relation to your cardiovascular well being, don’t wait.
This instructional useful resource was created with help from BMS.