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Women's Unique Heart Health Needs

Posted on February 6, 2017

It’s a common misconception that cancer is the most common cause of death in the U.S. But actually, this dubious distinction belongs to heart disease. Both women and men are at risk of heart disease, but women have unique heart health issues. If you’re taking steps to be a more proactive patient to prevent medical malpractice from affecting you, take a few minutes to also learn about your unique heart disease risks.

Contributory Factors
There are some risk factors of heart disease that both men and women share, including abnormal cholesterol levels, obesity, and high blood pressure. Other risk factors disproportionately affect more women than men and certain factors are unique to women. For example, diabetics are at a higher risk of heart disease if they are women than if they are men. Women are also at a higher risk than men because of smoking, mental stress, and depression. One of the reasons why smoking is a more significant risk factor for women is because many women use hormonal birth control methods. Combining hormonal birth control with smoking is not recommended because of the increased risk of blood clots. Furthermore, women are uniquely affected by the hormonal changes of menopause and by pregnancy complications—both of which can increase the risk of heart disease.

Symptom Recognition
Men are more likely than women to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and to call 911 right away. This is because women aren’t as likely to experience obvious symptoms such as chest and arm pain. They are more likely to experience subtle symptoms like dizziness, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, back pain and heartburn-like abdominal pain. Additionally, women often attribute their symptoms to panic attacks, stress, or even hypochondria. This means that women aren’t as likely to seek emergency medical care.

Pegalis & Erickson, LLC is a malpractice law firm on Long Island, New York with a longstanding track record of successfully advocating on behalf of patients and their families. Our medical negligence lawyers support the efforts of patients to become proactive about their medical decisions. To request a one-on-one consult with a medical malpractice lawyer, call us today at (516) 858-2194.

Categories: Patient Health