Your arteries carry blood, oxygen and nutrients to your heart and the rest of your body. Heart attack occurs when an artery of the heart is suddenly closed or blocked by a blood clot.
Even though closure occurs quickly, it often results from a plaque buildup that has formed in the arteries over time. This process is called atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. When the artery closes, the heart's supply of blood and oxygen drops suddenly and sharply. Lack of oxygen causes damage to the heart.
Most of the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack are the same for both men and women. The person who has a heart attack may have the following symptoms.
Many people can hardly believe they are having a heart attack. They convince themselves that these are the symptoms of another malaise and that they will disappear.
People wait almost five hours on average before getting medical help for their symptoms. Yet half of the deaths from heart attacks occur within two hours of the first warning signs. The faster you get help, the better your chances of surviving a heart attack.
New therapies and medicines can reduce damage and save lives if treatment starts early enough. Do not be afraid to find that your symptoms are after all a false alarm or the sign of another illness because avoiding asking for help could cost you your life.
While women tend to feel a vague sensation of chest discomfort rather than acute pain or tightness, these less pronounced symptoms do not mean that the heart attack is less severe for them than for men.
Any symptoms of heart attack must be taken seriously. Women usually have their first heart attack at an older age than men