Local doctor speaks on how heart attack symptoms differ between men and women
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and over 300,000 women died of heart disease in 2021.
Dr. Linda Calhoun from the Novant Health Heart and Vascular Institute spoke with WECT about the importance of heart health and how heart attack symptoms can differ between men and women after New Hanover County Commissioner was believed to have died of a heart attack on Sunday.
“Both men and women will feel chest pressure, chest tightness. It’s really worrisome if it’s been present for two to 10 minutes but if it’s lasting more than 15 minutes of course you’re worried about a heart attack,” she said.
Calhoun says that women sometimes present atypical symptoms.
“Some women have presented to me with shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, sweatiness, and 30 percent will have indigestion symptoms. So it’s important to be realistic about what your risks are as well,” Calhoun said.
While family history is an unchangeable risk factor, she says that other risks can be reduced by making healthier decisions. Calhoun recommends seeing a doctor for any issues with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, stress and depression to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
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