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How to recognize the signs of a heart attack in women?

How to recognize the signs of a heart attack in women? Until recently, medicine was not really interested in female heart attacks. And yet, it is the leading cause of death among women in France. Doctor Fabien Guez, cardiologist, helps us identify his symptoms.

It is the leading cause of death among women in France.

Worse, "55% of French people who die of cardiovascular disease are women", explains Doctor Fabien Guez, cardiologist and author of How (not) to have a heart attack (Éd. Hugo&Doc), a playful and quirky book "which brings together all the ingredients necessary for a successful heart attack."

And compared to men, we are also those who suffer the most since "women die more during a first heart attack (50% against 30% in men)", he specifies. The fault of our coronaries (arteries that surround the heart), much finer and therefore faster to clog.

So, what are the symptoms that should alarm us?

Symptoms of heart-attack in women

Several symptoms should be taken into account:

  • Sudden fatigue.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Chest pain, palpitations and shortness of breath.
  • Wrist pain.
  • Dizziness, nausea.

"All these symptoms, if they are felt during exercise or if there are risk factors (see below), should worry you and prompt you to consult a cardiologist for a check-up", warns the cardiologist . Especially when these signals are unusual:"If you are used to running and all of a sudden you have nausea or headaches for example, you should not ignore them."

Risk factors to watch

Arterial hypertension, overweight, diabetes, tobacco, hormonal contraception, hypercholesterolemia, physical inactivity, cardiac heredity are all factors that can promote a heart attack in women.

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"The tragedy is cigarettes. Especially among young women who take contraceptive pills. Many of them have cardiovascular problems earlier and earlier. The other concern is also the high consumption of alcohol", explains the doctor. Indeed " the tobacco-pollution association multiplies the heart risk by up to 5 times", specifies our expert.

The importance of prevention

"The idea is to prevent by adopting a healthy lifestyle. You have to eat a balanced diet and be active, but don't forget to have fun too from time to time. One of the best medicines? Laughter", we advises Doctor Guez.

So to avoid having a heart attack, start by throwing away your pack of cigarettes, put on a pair of trainers and take it easy on the rosé-crisps-charcuterie combo as an aperitif. It's already a good start.

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