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The Heart of a Woman

Heart Disease: Why It's Different for Women


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    I have been having these symtoms and was not aware of the danger i am in untill i read the article! This was a life saver!
  • I am one who did not expeience pain, but the other symptoms only to find that I have/had advance coronary disease. The artery that is called the widow maker in march was discovered to be 100 blocked. They could not do the angiplasty. The good news is that I have developed quite a few collateral arteries that are doing the work. This was is March, and I came back here in April. I am also hypothyroid and becasue that diesease wrecks havoc on cholesteral, I am a high risk person. I go to the Cardiologist in Sept, I have lost weight, I am more active, so we will see then. I am hopeful that I can reverse some of this damage.
  • Good article. I've just gone through a time when I was having occasional chest pain with exercise. At first I decided it was just stomach issues, but I finally thought that I was stupid to ignore it. I went to my doctor and had a cardiac perfusion study. They looked at blood flow through the heart at rest and after exercise. I passed it -- so no explanation for the pain. I don't know what to think now. I appreciate the info in the article, it's helpful.
    a vegan diet can help offset some of these problems. No animal products, no problems with high cholesterol (unless you have a heridtary problem), I have gone mostly vegan the past few months, and have been vegetarian for 20 years. I have perfect blood pressure, my cholesterol is low, hdl is high, ldl is low, etc. Despite having 20 lbs to lose. Giving up cheese was the hardest.
    Ask your doc about Lovaza. I have high tryglycerides and that's what he prescribed. It's prescription level Omega 3 oil. Also had high cholesterol, now controlled via a statin and a nasty family history. Unfortunately, I have not been able to quit smoking.
  • I can tell you that these are some of the symptoms of a heart attackt. I have had a few and the generally start with my heart beating so fast, that I have to stop and let it pass. The last time, it did not pass. I found out that I have a bad valve that forgets to let the blood flow to my heart. Not fun and very exausting.
    I had a heart attack at 38 w/o family history, smoking, etc. My risk factors were overweight and high cholesterol... which I'm still battling. Any great tips on triglyceride lowering???
    Go get a calcium heart scan and pay the $95 yourself. When plaque builds up the body plugs in calcium to stabilize it in ones arteries. I had wonderful blood pressure, medication controlled cholesterol, and no symptoms but this simple 15 minute non-invasive and no prep test revealed plaque buildup and I was in the cardiologists office in two days for further tests that prior to the calcium scan would not have been covered by insurance because I had no symptoms! But indeed I had a 90% blockage in the main artery in the front of my heart that was fixed with a stent! I could have dropped dead and everyone would have said we did not know she had heart trouble because before that test I did not know either! Simple solution in light of the fact that women's symptoms are so different from men and even those symptoms can be the result of other health problems so one is still left wondering...and panicking if those symptoms are present!
  • I'm not arguing with the facts, but as an ex-registrar, I know that when a doctor doesn't know the cause of death he/she often puts down heart failure. After all, when you die the heart stops. I question the statistics.
  • KARRI4767
    I went into cardiac arrest at the age of 40. No prior symptoms other than being tired. I was an avid walker, kickboxing nut and kept my weight slightly below average. Be aware it can happen to anyone at anytime. Encourage doctors to do testing just as they would for breast cancer or ovarian cancer. It may have been detected in me had the done so.
  • This article opened my eyes and gave me a wake up call I have high blood pressure, diabetes,and high choleterol and I told myself it is time for a change I want to be around to see my grandchildren grow up
  • Having a heart attack at 51 years of age was a real eye opener for me. I had been experiencing fatigue and indigestion for several months before my heart attack. My doctor told me it was just acid reflux. Take over the counter medication for it. Well I went into cardiac arrest and it took three tries to get my heart going again. Now I am the biggest cheerleader for women's heart disease. I spread the word out to everyone.
  • Unfortunately, many of these atypical symptoms also mimic those of a real anxiety attack, of which I have had many. It sure feels like I'm having a heart attack, but I'm not. This frightens me, because how will I know the difference between a panic attack and a heart attack? And there are MANY doctors out there who will treat these symptoms as a panic attack and not check your heart. If I went to the ER every time I have a panic attack I would be broke by now. But what if, that one time, it's actually a heart attack, and I DON'T go to the ER? Just thinking about it drives me crazy.
  • I have read all the comments on this article, and found all to be helpful for the most
    part. I have one grandparent with heart issues, one had cancer, my Dad had heart
    problems, my oldest brother died of a heart attack, the next one died of heart failure
    due to emphysema.
    About 2 years ago, I had read of the Heart MRI, and wanted one so my dr. set me up
    due to the family history and weight battle/high BP. The technician said my heart was
    great. The one thing I would advise: DO NOT SMOKE. My Dad smoked, both the
    brothers were heavy smokers. My husband had 4 H.A.'s, 3 stents, open heart. His
    surgeon told him if he had not been a smoker, he would have had a healthy heart.

    I am eating well, exercising as much as possible, staying active. I also have Arthritis
    and at times it is difficult, but I do the best I can.
  • I was guilty of thinking of heart disease as a men's disease for many years. Despite the fact that my dad and his brothers all had heart disease, I thought that I wasn't at risk. Since one of my aunts died as a result of a stroke, clearly I was in total denial. When one of my cousins (female) had a heart attack at 60 and died, I finally realized that the family history of heart disease also applied to me. Now I make sure that all of my medical providers know about my family history and that we run all of the appropriate tests and consider that history when investigating symptoms (I do the same for the family diabetes risk).

    As for the comment about putting our affairs in order and accepting death... while we should all have our affairs in order at all times, seriously? If your family members experienced a low quality of life in their 90s, it was the low quality of life, not their 90s. My mom is 85 and her sisters are 89 and 90. They do have a lot more limitations than they did in their 60s, but they are all as sharp as ever and enjoying their lives. One of my aunts has had Parkinson's for decades and recently lost her spouse of about 70 years and the other has survived two husbands and is no longer able to live alone, so that they are still happy and as active as possible is really saying something. Growing older and being in poor health do not go hand in hand, something we all need to remember.

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