Some of the funerals at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD are for women – grandmothers, mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and aunts – who died of heart disease. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in women in the United States and across the world.
Heart attacks, most of them fatal, are the end result of heart disease. Yet, while heart disease and heart attacks in men are commonly diagnosed, doctors often miss the signs of heart disease and heart attacks in women.
While some heart attacks are so severe that they lead to death, many less severe heart attacks and the heart disease that caused them can be prevented and treated if doctors know what to look for.
Women are more likely to suffer from silent heart attacks than men are. Their symptoms of having a heart attack are often very different from those that men have. These are two of the many factors that are involved in why medical professionals often miss the signs of heart disease and heart attacks in women.
The general consensus, within the medical profession and without, is that heart attacks have obvious symptoms. These include shortness of breath, pain in the left side of the chest, and cold, clammy sweats.
However, silent heart attacks usually have no symptoms, or the symptoms don’t match those normally associated with heart attacks. However, silent heart attacks indicate the same heart problem – lack of blood flow to a portion of the heart that can scar and damage the heart – that other heart attacks do.
Many people who’ve had silent heart attacks may complain of flu-like symptoms or serious indigestion. They may feel a slight pain in their chest or back that mimics a pulled muscle. They may also feel overly tired for long periods of time.
Women, it turns out, are more likely to suffer silent heart attacks than men are. Both women and medical professionals, however, often attribute the symptoms of silent heart attacks to stress and anxiety and dismiss them as situational or temporary, without doing the testing to determine if there is a blockage to the heart.
Women’s lack of knowledge that their heart attack symptoms are often different from those of men is also a contributor to their increased risk of a fatal cardiac event. A study by the European Society of Cardiology that was released in December 2018 found that women who are having a heart attack wait about 37 minutes longer than men who are having heart attacks to call emergency services.
While men usually experience crushing chest pain when they are having heart attacks, women seldom do. They may experience things like jaw pain, nausea, vomiting, neck pain, throat pain, and shoulder pain.
Women reason that if they call emergency services for these fairly common symptoms of many illnesses that they will end up looking silly or foolish because they’re overreacting to their symptoms. Meanwhile, they can suffer irreparable damage to their hearts, in the best case scenario, or they can die, in the worst case scenario.
Heart attack fatalities in women may be reduced if both medical professionals and women recognize the more subtle symptoms of heart attacks and go ahead with a full cardiac workup to find out what is going on with the heart.
If you’d like to arrange a funeral at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.