More Younger Women Having Heart Attacks

Here’s How to Protect Your Ticker

women heart attackIf you’re a woman younger than age 55, you may not have “heart attack” on the top of your list of health concerns. But according to new research, younger women in the U.S. are experiencing heart attacks at a higher rate than they were 20 years ago.

The good news: You can take steps to improve or preserve your heart health at any age.

First Things First: How to Spot a Heart Attack

Women experience heart attacks differently from men. Yes, there’s the chest pain, but there are also a few other symptoms women are more likely to experience:

  • Back or jaw pain
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sudden fatigue

If you notice any of these heart attack signs in yourself or someone else, call 911 immediately.

So, What’s Going on Here?

Why are younger women having more heart attacks these days? Well, we don’t really know. Researchers think that it could be tied to the rising rates of heart disease risk factors in this population. (Basically, more women under 55 years old have high blood pressure and diabetes, among other risk factors.)

Safeguard Your Ticker

No matter what age you are, a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk for heart problems. Take these steps to protect your heart:

  • See a provider. Get regular wellness exams from your health care provider.
  • Get moving. Try to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, plus two or more days of strength training.
  • Quit smoking. Or, if you don’t smoke, don’t start.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Fill up on foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium.

 

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

How healthy is your heart? Regardless of your gender, it’s important to know the answer to that question. Take our Heart Health Quiz today to find out if you’re at risk.