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Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when a blocked artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to die. The longer a person goes without treatment, the greater the damage.

Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate and intense. More often, though, symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or weeks before a heart attack. Unlike with sudden cardiac arrest, the heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack.

The heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men

Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and often without warning. It is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).

With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment.



Do you know the most critical numbers for your heart health? That knowledge could just save your life.

Women should follow a healthy lifestyle with all of the following:

  • Blood pressure less than 120/80 mm Hg and not on medicine for blood pressure
  • Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL and not on medicine for cholesterol
  • Fasting blood glucose less than 100 mg/dL and not on medicine for blood sugar
  • Body mass index less than 25 kg/m2 – Never smoked or quit over one year ago
  • Performs 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week
Performs 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week
Blood pressure less than 120/80 mm Hg and not on medicine for blood pressure
Body mass index less than 25 kg/m2 - Never smoked or quit over one year ago


What is Afib?

Have you ever felt your heart flutter, race or skip a beat? Most of us have at some point, But if this happens more frequently, you may have atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is a problem with the heart’s rhythm – the way it beats. When someone is “in Afib,” the heartbeats in a rapid, chaotic way.

What are some of the signs & symptoms?

Have you ever felt your heart flutter, race or skip a beat? Most of us have at some point, But if this happens more frequently, you may have atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is a problem with the heart’s rhythm – the way it beats. When someone is “in Afib,” the heartbeats in a rapid, chaotic way.

chest pain

chest pain

dizziness or feel faint While many women have one or more of these symptoms, some say they don’t experience any.

dizziness or feel faint While many women have one or more of these symptoms, some say they don’t experience any.

unexplained shortness of breath

unexplained shortness of breath

very rapid or irregular heartbeats – some women say they feel their heart flip-flopping in their chests, skipping a beat or fluttering

very rapid or irregular heartbeats

Listen to your body, Afib can occur every once and a while (called paroxysmal atrial fibrillation) or all the time (chronic atrial fibrillation).

Either way, be sure to tell your health care provider about all of your symptoms.

Millions of Women live with atrial fibrillation (Afib). Even though it is more common in men, women with Afib are more likely to have a stroke. Untreated, Afib can also lead to heart failure and chronic fatigue.

Risk factors:

Afib is more likely as you get older. On average, women tend to develop Afib around 75 years of age (vs 67 for men). However, younger women can also have it. Other risk factors can include:

other heart problems, especially valve disease, heart failure or a history of heart attack or open heart surgery

other heart problems, especially valve disease, heart failure or a history of heart attack or open heart surgery

family history

family history

other medical conditions including thyroid problems, diabetes and sleep apnea

other medical conditions including thyroid problems, diabetes and sleep apnea

high blood pressure (hypertension)

high blood pressure (hypertension)

Smoking

Smoking

being obese

being obese

alcohol

alcohol

How is Afib diagnosed?

Your doctor will first ask how you have been feeling and perform a physical exam. If you’ve noticed chest pains, breathlessness or a racing heart, be prepared to tell him or her when they happen (laying down, climbing stairs, etc.) and how often.

How is Afib diagnosed?
Your doctor may order some routine blood work and other screening.

Your doctor may order some routine blood work and other screening.

Your doctor may order some routine blood work and other screening.

There are a number of things you can do to live well with Afib and prevent problems.

A

Pay attention to risk factors for Afib, heart disease and stroke. Make sure your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are stable.

Make sure your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are stable.
Eat a healthy diet.
B

Eat a healthy diet.

C

Exercise regularly and monitor your weight.

Exercise regularly and monitor your weight.
alcohol, caffeine, upper respiratory infections and extreme stress.
D

Know what triggers an episode. Doing so will help you prevent or better anticipate Afib.
Common risks that triggers an AFib episode: alcohol, caffeine, upper respiratory infections and extreme stress.

E

Learn how to pace yourself. Most women living with Afib will tell you it is a livable condition

Learn how to pace yourself. Most women living with Afib will tell you it is a livable condition
Have a plan to stay calm. Anxiety can make episodes much worse.
F

Have a plan to stay calm. Anxiety can make episodes much worse.

G

Take your medications as prescribed.

Learn how to pace yourself. Most women living with Afib will tell you it is a livable condition
Know your risk of stroke & other health problems
H

Know your risk of stroke & other health problems

Possible treatments include lifestyle changes and medications and/or medical procedures

Possible treatments include lifestyle changes and medications and/or medical procedures

  • blood-thinning medications to prevent clots
blood-thinning medications to prevent clots
  • heart rate control medications that bring the heart rate to a normal level
heart rate control medications that bring the heart rate to a normal level
  • heart rhythm control medications that restore or maintain normal heart rhythm
heart rhythm control medications that restore or maintain normal heart rhythm
  • electrical cardioversion –paddles are applied to the chest to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm
electrical cardioversion –paddles are applied to the chest to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm
catheter ablation
  • catheter ablation – wires are inserted into veins in the leg or arm and threaded to the heart to alter abnormal areas that may be causing the abnormal heart rhythm
surgical maze
  • surgical maze – small cuts are made in the heart, creating a “maze” that prevents the abnormal beats from controlling the heart. This is a very effective treatment, but because this requires open heart surgery, it is often used when other options have failed.
Afib is often an ongoing condition that needs to be managed.
  • It’s not a one-time episode!

    Afib is often an ongoing condition that needs to be managed. Women say having regular appointments with their cardiologists and taking medicines to steady their hearts is something you need to follow to maintain a healthy life.



Heart Attack Signs in Women

Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.

Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest
Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach

Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somehow more likely than men to experience these common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Even though heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu or normal aging. Heart disease is the world’s biggest killers, accounting for a combined 15 million deaths in 2015. These diseases have remained the leading causes of death globally in the last 15 years.

Heart disease in Women

Angina in Women Can Be Different Than Men

Angina (chest pain)

Angina (chest pain) is a warning sign of heart disease, and recognizing it and getting treated early may prevent a heart attack. Fatty build-up in your coronary arteries, called plaque, prevents blood flow that’s needed to provide oxygen to your heart muscle.

Women more frequently develop heart disease within the very small arteries that branch out from the coronary arteries – microvascular disease (MVD) and occurs particularly in younger women.

Heart disease in men

On the other hand, Heart disease in men usually is due to blockages in their coronary arteries – obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD). Up to 50 percent of women with anginal symptoms who undergo cardiac catheterization don’t have the obstructive type of CAD.

You may have tightness, pressure or discomfort in your chest during physical activity or when stressed. But it goes away shortly after you stop the activity or get rid of the stress.

You may have tightness, pressure or discomfort in your chest during physical activity or when stressed
feeling out of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or sharp chest pain

Angina symptoms in women can also include feeling out of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or sharp chest pain.  Once the extra demand for blood and oxygen stops, so do the symptoms.



Hypertension, also referred to as ‘High Blood Pressure’ is characterized by having a blood pressure reading equal to or over 140/90mm Hg (SBP/DBP)

What is Hypertension?

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Risk Factors:

Risk Factors

Age

Sleep apnea

Overweight and obesity

Low levels of physical activity

Family history of hypertension and genetic factors

Excessive consumption of alcohol

Risk Factors

Stress

Use of tobacco

Lower education level

High sodium, high fat diet

Ethnicity (African, Caucasian.. etc)

Lower socioeconomic status



Women, Depression, and Heart Disease Facts

Facts

  • Even mild forms of depression or depressive symptoms increase heart disease risk.
  • Depression is twice as common in women as in men, and increases the risk of heart disease by two to three times compared with women who are not depressed regardless of race, ethnicity or economic background.
  • Depression makes it difficult for women to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to follow recommended treatment.
  • Depression can lead to heart disease in women and results in those women being more than twice as likely to experience sudden cardiac death.
  • Women with higher levels of depression are the most likely to be obese or to smoke – both recognized as major risk factors for heart disease.

Signs of depression

Helplessness

Thought of death

Guilt

Changes in appetite

Energy loss

Signs of depression

Anger

Withdrawing from friends and family

Sleep problem

No concentration

Alcohol & drug abuse



Obesity

  • Within 20 years, the percent of obese adult women has increased significantly:
  • 1988-1994: 25.5% obese
  • 2009-2012: 35.9% obese
Obesity
Heart Disease

Heart Disease

  • More than 50 million women are currently living with some form of cardiovascular disease.
  • Millions of women are currently living with coronary heart disease (CHD).
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death of women.

The Risks

The Risks
Obesity is a major risk factor for heart cardiovascular disease

Obesity is a major risk factor for heart cardiovascular disease (CVD) and is associated with 13% of CVD deaths in adults.

Between 1971 and 2004 total energy consumption for adult women has increased by 22%, compared to a 10% increase in adult men.

Total energy consumption for adult women has increased
44.9% of adult women have total cholesterol of at least 200mg/dL.

44.9% of adult women have total cholesterol of at least 200mg/dL.

31.7% of women do not engage in leisure time physical activity.

31.7% of women do not engage in leisure time physical activity.
18.5% of adults who are obese also have diabetes.

18.5% of adults who are obese also have diabetes. The greater a person’s BMI (Body Mass Index), the greater their risk of having diabetes.



Heart Disease and Diabetes in Women

Your body gets most of its energy from glucose, a form of sugar that comes from some of the food you eat. If you have diabetes, it’s harder for your body to turn food into energy. That’s because the body either:

Heart Disease and Diabetes in Women

cannot produce enough insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas),

or both.

cannot use insulin (also called insulin resistance),

heart disease treatment in women and in men

Without enough insulin, glucose can’t enter the cells. Over time, the amount of glucose in your blood rises and cells are starved of energy. In addition to heart attack and stroke, uncontrolled diabetes can eventually lead to other health problems as well, such as blindness, kidney failure, and amputations.

Without enough insulin, glucose can’t enter the cells, Heart Disease and Diabetes in Women

Heart disease & diabetes often occur together. Whether you have heart disease or are at high risk of it, get your blood glucose (sugar) level checked regularly, especially if diabetes runs in your family.

Diabetes

Heart Disease and Diabetes in Women
  • 10.6 million women have diabetes (8 percent of all women ages 20 years and older)
  • 3 million women who have diabetes are undiagnosed.
  • 34.4 million women have pre-diabetes.
  • 14.6% of African-American women have diabetes.
  • 11.8% of Hispanic-American women have diabetes.
  • Prevalence for diabetes African American women is two times higher than in Caucasian women (14.6% of African-American women have diabetes while 6.1% of Caucasian women have diabetes)
Heart diseases and diabetes in women

Heart Disease

Heart Disease in Women
  • 43.8 million women are currently living with some form of cardiovascular disease. Nearly 7 million women have a history of heart attack and/or angina.
  • 6.6 million women are currently living with coronary heart disease (CHD).
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women and is responsible for 1 in 3 deaths in women annually.
Heart Disease in Women
  • Diabetes dramatically increases a woman’s chances of developing heart disease and having a heart attack and at much younger ages.
  • Diabetes erases the heart protective benefits of estrogen during child-bearing years.
Diabetes erases the heart protective benefits of estrogen during child-bearing years.
Women with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop heart disease than women who don’t have diabetes.

Women with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop heart disease than women who don’t have diabetes. Women with diabetes who have survived a heart attack are at much greater risk of having a second one compared to women without diabetes. Diabetes contributes to heart-related deaths.

Two out of three women with diabetes die from heart disease.

Two out of three women with diabetes die from heart disease.
Heart disease and diabetes in women

While the death rate from heart disease has dropped by 27 percent in women without diabetes, deaths from heart and blood vessel disease in women with diabetes have increased by 23 percent over the last 30 years.

Smoking doubles the risk for heart disease in people with diabetes.

Smoking doubles the risk for heart disease in people with diabetes.

2 out of 3 adults with diabetes report also having high blood pressure or taking prescription medications to lower their blood pressure.

2 out of 3 adults with diabetes report also having high blood pressure
  • Women with diabetes are 2.5 times more likely to have heart attacks.
  • The risk for stroke is 1.5 times higher among people with diabetes.
2 out of 3 adults with diabetes report also having high blood pressure or taking prescription medications

2 out of 3 adults with diabetes report also having high blood pressure or taking prescription medications

Know Your (Diabetes) ABCs

Know Your (Diabetes) ABCs

Your health care team will focus on controlling your blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure and blood cholesterol, together with use of aspirin and other medications as indicated.

Know Your (Diabetes) ABCs

A

stands for A1C (a test that shows average blood glucose level over the past three months). Have this checked at least twice a year.

A1C target Below 7 percent

Know Your (Diabetes) ABCs , stands for A1C
High blood pressure is serious and can make your heart work too hard.

B

is for blood pressure. High blood pressure is serious and can make your heart work too hard.
Blood pressure target Below 130/80 mm Hg

C

is for cholesterol (lipids). Have it checked at least once a year.

Blood fat (cholesterol) targets LDL (bad) cholesterol Under 100 mg/dL Triglycerides Under 150 mg/dL HDL (good) cholesterol For men: above 40 mg/dL For women: above 50 mg/dL

is for cholesterol (lipids). Have it checked at least once a year.


Generally, heart disease treatment in women and in men is similar.

heart disease treatment in women and in men
heart disease treatment in women and in men

We always associate chest pain with heart attacks, and for good reason, but it’s not the whole story — especially for women. While chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack, women can have symptoms that aren’t related to chest pain at all. They need to be on the lookout for other, subtler symptoms.



Emirates Cardiac Society

SHARING MATTERS OF HEART

SHARING MATTERS OF HEART




About Us


Emirates Cardiac Society (ECS) is a non-profit organization comprising of cardiologists within the UAE that work under the umbrella of the Emirates Medical Association.


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