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Signs of Heart Disease in Women

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More women die from heart disease than men do, and partially the reason behind this is that women do not portray the classic symptoms of heart attacks (clutching chest and left arm going numb) rather they tend to have more subtle symptoms that they can write off as “could be anything”. Do you know the signs of heart disease in women?

Some of the signs of heart disease in women include tiredness, nausea, a radiating chest pain that goes up to the jaw and neck, headaches, back pain, and sleeping troubles. Yes, you can see that these symptoms aren’t indicative of just heart disease and very well could be anything, but if you have them get them checked out by a healthcare physician. If you have any chest tightness, heaviness, or pain, make sure you insist on an EKG or other heart related test and stand up for yourself. The time of thinking “I don’t want to bother” or “I don’t want to be embarrassed if it’s not heart disease” is never.

I’m 39 and just went in for my first heart stress test because I’ve a family history of multiple heart attacks. I’m going forward and staying on top of my heart health, are you?

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Tina, this is a smart, provocative post that should get many women thinking.

I saw an episode on heart disease in women on Oprah once where she interviewed women who were only diagnosed with heart attacks after they insisted on an EKG. They had to push for this because their symptoms were mimicking things like indigestion and back pain. Yet they just knew that something wasn't right.

Once again, we have to trust our intuition about our bodies. We are the only ones who know when we don't feel well, and we are the only ones who can insist that we be taken care of.

A surprising fact: The National Institute of Health studied 515 women who had had heart attacks and found that less than a third of them reported any chest pain before their attacks, and less than half had any pain during any phase of the attack. We really, truly have to be in tune with other symptoms.

Here's more information about the NIH research:


How did your stress test go? Did you learn anything that surprised you? Or that will change the way you go about your daily life?

April 16, 2009 - 9:53am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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