Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Coronary heart disease, where one or more of the arteries are blocked, is the leading cause of heart attacks. The American Heart Association estimates an American has a heart attack about every 40 seconds.

It may surprise you to learn that women are more likely to die from a heart attack than men. Unfortunately, heart disease is underdiagnosed in women, and some are unaware that their symptoms are signaling a heart attack. Symptoms vary based on gender, and while men tend to have the telltale signs of a heart attack, most women experience vague or uncommon symptoms.

Heart Attacks in Men vs. Women

Heart disease is mistakenly assumed to be predominant in men, and women tend to minimize their symptoms and delay seeking treatment. Because symptoms for women can be hard to recognize, they do not always get checked by their doctor. Heart attack symptoms in women include:

  • Pain between shoulder blades
  • Unexplained fatigue, dizziness, or vomiting
  • Indigestion or heartburn-like pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Uncomfortable pressure or “squeezing” feeling in chest that may spread to the arm
  • Cold sweat

Symptoms of a heart attack in men include:

  • Back, neck, or jaw pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pressure or pain

If you experience any of the mentioned signs or symptoms, don’t hesitate to call 911. Every second counts in the event of a heart attack. The sooner you receive medical help, the better your prognosis.

Preventing Heart Disease

Being overweight is a big risk factor for heart attacks. Rates of obesity have continued to climb in the U.S. Keeping your blood pressure, BMI (body mass index), cholesterol, blood sugar, and weight under control can help prevent the start of heart disease; as can quitting smoking and limiting or eliminating alcohol from your diet. If you have been prescribed medication for blood pressure or cholesterol levels, remember to be consistent and take them as recommended.

For high-quality cardiac care, turn to the experts at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. Our skilled team of cardiac specialists have made the Heart Center at Mercy a national leader in cardiovascular care. U.S. News & World Report named Mercy Hospital of Buffalo a “High Performing” hospital for 2023-2024 in stroke, heart bypass, and heart attack care.

Our diverse team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists, and vascular specialists treat a wide range of cardiovascular conditions, and help patients improve and maintain their heart health. The Heart Center at Mercy has received numerous awards for its expertise in cardiac care, and was the first in WNY to perform cardiac contractility modulation (CCM) implant surgery, a minimally invasive implantable device for patients with heart failure.

Schedule a Check Up with your Provider

If you have a family history of cardiac issues, or have any risk factors, talk to your doctor about cardiovascular screenings. Your doctor will determine how frequently you should be screened and continue to monitor your cardiovascular health.

To schedule an appointment with one of our experienced cardiologists, call 716-706-2113.

Find a Cardiologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2113

Find a Cardiologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2113