Why Women are Less Likely than Men to Survive a Heart Attack

Picture a person having a heart attack.

Chances are the image that came immediately to mind was of a middle-aged man clutching his chest. Yet cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, will kill six times as many women this year as it will men. Moreover, women, while less likely than men to have a heart attack, are also are less likely than men to survive one.

What accounts for this disparity?

Women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms that are considered atypical.

For example, while chest pain or pressure is the hallmark of a heart attack, one study found that nearly half of women had no chest pain at all during a heart attack. Instead, they reported only fatigue and shortness of breath.

Because symptoms of heart attack in women are less known, women often seek care later than men. One study found the average time it took for a man to seek treatment for a heart attack was 16 hours. In a woman it was 54 hours.

And with heart attacks, time is of the essence. Eighty-five percent of the damage of a heart attack occurs within the first two hours.

For these reasons, everyone needs to be aware of the symptoms associated with heart attacks — both in men and in women.

Heart Attack Symptoms Common in Both Men and Women

  1. pain or discomfort in the chest
  2. pain in shoulders, neck, arm, or jaw
  3. sweating
  4. shortness of breath, which might lead to loss of consciousness
  5. feelings similar to heartburn or indigestion
  6. nausea or vomiting

Heart Attack Symptoms More Common in Men

  1. Chest pressure described as being like “an elephant sitting on my chest”
  2. Pain or discomfort on the right side of the chest

Heart Attack Symptoms More Common in Women

  1. Unexplained weakness or fatigue, which may last for several days
  2. Sleep disturbances
  3. Anxiety
  4. Throat discomfort

 The most important thing to remember, however, is that every heart attack is unique. If anyone is experiencing any heart attack symptom — whether it is “common” or not — they should call 911 immediately and go to the hospital.

At Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, our care programs are designed specifically to meet the unique needs and interests of seniors and long-term care patients. We emphasize restorative care, maximizing each patient’s potential to regain and maintain function and mobility.

For rehabilitation after a heart attack, Hamilton Grove offers SMART Rehab, an advanced concept in rehabilitative care. SMART Rehab has set a whole new standard for rehabilitative therapy programs, with superior care and comfort unparalleled in the healthcare industry.

SMART Rehab creates each patient’s individualized care plan based on their personal physician’s protocol, assuring the best clinical outcomes. We partner with your physician, maintaining regular contact and forwarding progress reports. Our experienced and professional therapists are goal oriented and use aggressive therapy regimens that promote rapid healing.

Our SMART Rehab Therapy Gym is equipped with the latest and best in innovative therapeutic equipment. And our therapists provide therapy seven days a week. Your recovery shouldn’t take a break on weekends.

In addition to cardiac rehab, Hamilton Grove offers SMART rehab for:

  • Hip or knee replacement
  • Post-stroke
  • Post-surgery recovery
  • Complex wound care
  • Motor vehicle trauma
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Diabetes monitoring and care
  • Pain management
  • IV Therapy

Hamilton Grove fosters an environment that is cheerful and enthusiastic, so residents truly relish and appreciate life.

Our outstanding Social Services team works hard to ensure that every resident thrives socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

We promote a culture of independence, crucial for emotional, social, and physical health. Residents are encouraged to choose their activity and meal preferences, and to perform tasks and activities as self-sufficiently as possible.

We carefully select, train and re-train our wonderful caregivers, who are especially sensitive to the needs of our long-term care patients. They treat residents with love, compassion, and dignity.

Read our reviews on caring.com, wellness.com, and senioradvisor.com to hear what our residents and their families have to say.

Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 609-588-5800 or by clicking here.

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