Vital differences with heart disease

Tuesday, September 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

With heart disease, how do women differ from men?

Women's symptoms are more subtle. Whereas men often have dramatic onset, such as numbness or sharp chest pain, women's early warning symptoms often appear to be merely anxiety stress or indigestion.

Women's first medically recognized symptom may be a heart attack.

Women tend to develop heart disease later in life, but with worse impact.

Women are more protected from heart disease during their childbearing years.

Women's and men's hearts are built differently.

Women's and men's heart rhythm disturbances present themselves differently. Men first experience myocardial infarction – a heart attack, a sharp crushing pain. Women first experience angina – a dull, aching discomfort, often called a "heart cramp."

Although men can experience angina, it's a different phenomenon. Men's angina comes on with exercise or exertion, and improves with rest. Women's angina comes and goes with no obvious cause, and may not improve with rest.

Women are more likely to generalize stress and unhappiness as heart problems, but they are more intuitive about diagnosing problems.

SOURCE: Heart Sense For Women: Your Plan for Natural Prevention and Treatment