Angina is a type of chest pain that occurs as a result of weakened blood flow to your heart. It should be taken quite seriously, as it’s a symptom of coronary heart disease, which often leads to heart attacks.
Because medicine often overlooks how disease symptoms present differently in women as opposed to men, we at Prima Medicine want to highlight the ways that angina symptoms can differ based on gender.
How angina symptoms differ between men and women
Angina affects over 7 million Americans, so it’s important to recognize the symptoms. In men, angina presents as the following:
- Chest pain, presenting as pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Arm, neck, jaw, shoulder, or back pain
However, in women, angina symptoms can present as:
- A sharper, stabbing chest pain, as opposed to the pressure that men experience
- Abdominal pain
- Throat and jaw discomfort
- Nausea and shortness of breath (both are more common in women)
Since women can have slightly different angina symptoms than men, it’s absolutely critical for women to be aware of these signs and get help when they need it.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
Consider some sobering statistics: Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, affecting one out of every three women in the country. Not only that, but nearly half of African-American women have cardiovascular disease. Because of the higher rate of heart disease in women, it’s too important to ignore.
Yet surprisingly, one study revealed that women are less likely to seek help during a heart attack, showing that on average, men took three hours to seek help, while women took four. Sadly, when it comes to heart attacks, each moment counts.
Understand your risk factors
Because 80% of heart disease is preventable, it’s important for women to not only understand the symptoms, but also all the risk factors associated with angina and heart disease. Risk factors such as family history, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and stress are all major contributors to heart disease.
Take control of your health today
At Prima Medicine, Dr. Chethana Rao and her team make your health their top priority. They bring their years of experience, education, and understanding as women themselves to the table. Don’t wait until your symptoms of angina grow into full-blown heart disease. Call our office or book an appointment online today.