A Look At Heart Disease In Men And Women


I traveled to the Valley awhile back and happened to be tuned into a radio station where a health tip was being broadcast. Typically, my articles pertain to fire safety and injury prevention. I felt that since here in Payson, as well as nationally, fire department calls for service typically are 70 percent to 80 percent medical in nature, this article would be appropriate.

In the future, I would like to periodically submit articles related to emergent health issues and the importance of early recognition, and the role rapid treatment plays in preventing permanent damage or death to the residents we serve.

The original health tip and information below is from Scottsdale Health Care and its Web site. http://www.shc.org.

Although it is a common misconception, men are not the only ones at great risk for heart disease. Heart disease kills more women than men every year and presents itself differently in women, so diligent attention to these signs and symptoms by women and their physicians are very important.

Diagnosis of heart disease presents a greater challenge in women than in men. Heart disease can begin in women before menopause and not present any noticeable, recognizable symptoms.

Some heart attacks are intense and recognizable, but most attacks begin slowly, with mild discomfort. Below are some of the facts related to heart disease that women should know.

Heart Disease Signs and Symptoms Specific to Women

• Chest discomfort

• Pain

• Squeezing, burning or mild to severe

pressure in the center of your chest

• Upper body discomfort in one or both

arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach

• Shortness of breath, with or without chest


• Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

• Nausea and vomiting

• Cold sweats

• Feelings of anxiety, fatigue, or weakness

— unexplained or on exertion


• Heart disease is the leading cause of

death for American women

• Over 40 percent of all deaths in American

women are caused by cardiovascular

disease — heart and stroke combined —

each year

• 500,000 women die each year from

cardiovascular disease

• 267,000 women die each year from all

cancers combined


• 8 million American women currently live

with heart disease

• 6 million American women have a history

of heart attack and/or angina

• 13 percent of women age 45 and older

have had a heart attack

Women vs. Men

• 38 percent of women will die within one

year after a heart attack

• 25 percent of men will die within one year

after a heart attack

• 35 percent of women heart attack

survivors will have another heart attack

within six years

• 18 percent of men heart attack survivors

will have another heart attack within six


• 46 percent of women heart attack

survivors will be disabled within six years

• 22 percent of men heart attack survivors

will be disabled within six years

• Although more women than men die of

cardiovascular disease each year, only 38

percent of women receive angioplasties,

stents and bypass surgeries

• Only 36 percent of women receive open

heart surgeries

• Only 25 percent of women are partici-

pants in heart-related research studies

Don’t wait. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please call 911 immediately.

Until next time be “Fired Up” about your health and early recognition.


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