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Heart Attacks: Women can very be different from men

Once thought to be a “man’s disease,” we now know that heart disease not only impacts women as well, but women are 50% more likely to die as a result of a heart attack than men, and twice as likely to have a subsequent heart attack – and the risks of heart disease increase with age, particularly after menopause. A full 25% of women over age 65 are diagnosed with some type of heart disease, and increasingly so when risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and diabetes come into play.

It’s important to note that the symptoms and signs of a heart attack can present differently in women than in men. As with men, the most common sign of a heart attack in women is chest pain and discomfort. But women are more likely to experience some of the less predictable symptoms of a heart attack, like:

  • Unusual fatigue

  • Nausea/vomiting

  • Indigestion

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Weakness in the arms

  • Anxiety

Research by the National Institutes of Health indicates that women often experience new or different physical symptoms as long as a month or more before experiencing heart attacks.

Regardless of which symptoms you experience, even if you are not sure it is a heart attack, have it checked out. It is also important to call for medical help right away. Five minutes could save your life. Calling 911 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment up to an hour sooner than getting to the hospital by car. EMS staff members are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance also usually receive faster treatment at the hospital.

After experiencing a heart attack, many individuals can safely recuperate at home after being discharged from the hospital. And when it comes to caring for a client at home who's recovering from a heart attack, AAging Better In-Home Care is second to none! We begin with a personalized care plan, created by an RN, with each individual’s specific needs and desires incorporated into it that outlines the best strategy for keeping each senior safe, healthy and thriving – both physically and emotionally. From there, a fully trained, compassionate and experienced caregiver is carefully matched with the client to fulfill all of the requirements outlined in the plan of care – from planning and preparing heart-healthy meals, transporting to medical appointments or picking up prescriptions, to encouraging and participating with the client in physician-approved exercise programs, and more.

If you or a loved one need help at home while recuperating from a heart attack, contact the office closest to you by calling 208-777-0308 in the Coeur d’Alene, Hayden Lake or Post Falls area, 208-263-7889 in the Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry or Priest Lake area, and 208-784-1505 in the Kellogg, Pinehurst or Wallace area. Or toll-free at 866-464-2344 anytime.

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