Women and Heart Disease

February is National Heart Month. While much of the information and research “out there” is based on men, women and heart disease is still less researched and there is still less awareness.

Heart disease in women tends to be in the hearts smaller blood vessels. This means that the symptoms women experience may not be the same as men’s symptoms, where heart disease is more likely to affect major arteries of the heart.

Symptoms of heart disease more common to women:

  • chest discomfort (rather than crushing)
  • indigestion / nausea
  • back or neck pain
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue

According to the heart and stroke foundation, women are half as likely to attend important cardiac rehabilitation programs. We know that cardiac rehab is vital to improve quality of life and function as well as importantly prevent a second heart attack. I wonder what the barriers are in this? Is it prescribed less often? Is it presented as an option but not communicated in a way so as to seem important?

You can find the 2020 Spotlight on Women from the Heart and Stroke Foundation HERE for interesting scientific information about women and heart and stroke.