Matters of the Heart: Coronary Artery Events in Women

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the number one killer of women, accounting for one in every five female deaths. According to the American Heart Association (AHA) Go Red for Woman campaign, one out of three deaths in women is related to either a heart attack or stroke. These are frightening statistics! It is important to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of heart disease and how they differ between men and women.   

Notice the differences between men and women in regard to cardiac symptoms. Oftentimes, women will not have the traditional chest pains associated with a heart attack. They are more likely to have shortness of breath or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen. Other differences include:

· Nausea or vomiting
· Jaw, neck or back pain
· Squeezing chest pressure or pain
· Shortness of breath

· Nausea or vomiting
· Jaw, neck or upper back pain
· Chest pain, but not always
· Pain or pressure in the lower chest or upper abdomen
· Shortness of breath
· Fainting
· Indigestion
· Extreme fatigue

It can sometime be hard to tell if the symptoms a woman is experiencing is cardiac-related or something else. If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to call 911 for immediate medical attention.

To schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at Lovelace Women’s Hospital, call 505.727.6971


Information provided by Diana L. Kaufman, CNP.