Heart attacks can occur at any age, however the risk increases as we age. If you have an aging loved one you care for in the Bay Area, it's important to know the symptoms, differences between men and women, and what factors can contribute to the likelihood of experiencing a heart attack. Our senior home care agency hopes you find this information useful.
Heart attack symptoms
There are some symptoms shared by both men and women, and others that differ depending on gender. According to the CDC the most common and major symptoms experienced by both genders include:
Pain or discomfort in the neck, jaw, or back
Shortness of breath
A light-headed feeling
Arm or shoulder pain or discomfort
For men, heart attacks are more likely to occur at a younger age than in women. Men are also more likely to have a "sudden" heart attack - in fact, between 70% and 89% of these attacks occur in men. Of those males who die from sudden due to a heart attack, about 50% have no symptoms.
For women, additional symptoms often include nausea or vomiting; many women never experience chest pressure or pain. The risk of a heart attack also rises after menopause, and women may mistake a heart attack for acid reflux or even the flu.
What factors contribute to an increased risk of heart attack?
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
High cholesterol that isn't controlled
Body weight - being overweight or obese
Lack of physical activity
Poor diet and nutrition
Blood sugar levels
As you can see from the factors above, it's important to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible. A healthy diet, exercise, quitting smoking and keeping high blood pressure and cholesterol under control is vital to lowering the risk of a heart attack, both in men and women.
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