Most people know heart disease is a leading cause of death in men, but few are aware that women’s heart health can be an equally significant problem. Board-certified cardiology and interventional cardiology specialists Rakesh Sahni, MD, and Sheila Sahni, MD, of Sahni Heart Center in Clark, Red Bank, Fords, and City of Orange, New Jersey, are experts in diagnosing and treating women’s heart health problems. If you’re worried about your heart health, call Sahni Heart Center today. You can also use the online booking form for appointments at the Clark, New Jersey, office.

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What is women’s heart health?

Women are at risk of heart disease, but many don’t realize that heart disease is as common a cause of death in women as it is in men. Women’s heart health focuses on the origins of heart disease and how symptoms of heart disease present themselves in women.

Heart disease doesn’t just affect older women, either. Women of all ages should consider their risk of developing heart disease and act on the risks they can control.

What are the risk factors for women’s heart health?

Some of the well-known risk factors for heart disease in men, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, affect men and women alike. However, other risk factors are more significant for women than men. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Chronic stress
  • Depression
  • Smoking
  • Inactivity
  • Family history
  • Inflammatory diseases

While all these risk factors do increase the chances a man will develop heart disease, studies show they present a higher risk in women. Risk factors exclusive to women are low levels of estrogen following menopause, and complications from pregnancy.

Do women’s heart problems have the same symptoms as men’s?

Symptoms of heart disease in women can vary compared to men. For example, during a heart attack, women are more likely to feel pressure or tightness rather than severe chest pain. They might have a heart attack without feeling any chest pain at all.

When women have a heart attack, other symptoms are likely to be worse than chest pain, such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the arms
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Indigestion

Pain in the shoulder, upper back, neck, jaw, or abdomen can also be more prominent in women.

Why do women’s heart symptoms differ from men’s?

One reason women’s symptoms of heart problems differ from men’s is that women are more likely to have coronary microvascular disease, where there are obstructions in the smaller arteries as well as the main ones.

Women are also more prone to experiencing symptoms when they’re resting or sleeping than men are. Emotional stress can trigger heart attack symptoms in women too.

Often women don’t realize their symptoms are a heart health problem, so they might not seek medical attention as soon as they should. This means heart damage is a significant risk for women.

Diagnosis of heart problems could also be a challenge unless you visit a specialist practice like Sahni Heart Center.

Find out how healthy your heart is by arranging a checkup, or make an appointment if you have any symptoms of heart disease. Call Sahni Heart Center today or book your online appointment at the Clark, New Jersey, office.