Senior Heart Health: The Differences in Heart Attack Signs for Men vs. Women

In many ways, it’s easy to see how men’s health issues are different from those of women – but when it comes to senior heart health and heart attacks, it wasn’t long ago that doctors believed there wasn’t much difference between the two genders. This is changing now, however, as research is revealing that there are differences, beginning with how women display signs of a heart attack – and understanding these differences can save a life.

Though sometimes a heart attack will come on suddenly and intensively, most of them begin slowly with minor pain or discomfort, with some particular warning signs to watch for, such as discomfort in the chest or other areas of the upper body and shortness of breath. 

As with men, the leading sign of a heart attack in women is chest pain and discomfort. Yet women are more prone to experience some of the less common symptoms of a heart attack, such as:

  • Unusual fatigue
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Problems with sleeping
  • Weakness in the arms
  • Anxiety

A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that women often experience new or different physical symptoms up to a month or more before experiencing heart attacks.

If you suspect or are unsure whether symptoms you’re experiencing might be a heart attack, call for medical help immediately. Five minutes may just save your life. Calling 911 is almost always the best way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can start treatment up to an hour sooner than getting to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to resuscitate someone whose heart has stopped. Those experiencing chest pain who arrive by ambulance typically also receive faster treatment at the hospital.

Our experts in home care in Goodlettsville and nearby areas are trained and experienced in supporting individuals with heart disease in a variety of ways, such as providing medication reminders, preparing heart-healthy meals, encouraging doctor-approved exercise, and more. Our caregiving services include overnight stays as well, for those who don’t want to be alone through the night. We’d love to talk with you to learn more about the challenges you’re facing and to come up with a solution to make life safer and more comfortable. Contact us any time online or at 615-964-7726 to request a free in-home consultation.