Article by Fabafterfifty
Cardiovascular disease kills as many women as it does men – that’s one in three men as well as one in three women. Cardiovascular disease, or CVD for short, means all the diseases of the heart and circulation, including coronary heart disease (angina and heart attack) and stroke.
The facts about women and heart disease
• Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the single most common cause of death for women in the UK.
• CHD kills 3 times more women than breast cancer.
• There are over 1 million women in the UK living with CHD.
Considering these figures, it’s worrying that some women don’t realise heart disease could happen to them.
Recognising the symptoms of heart disease
Not everyone experiences all the symptoms we associate with heart disease, and the classic image of a heart attack can be quite different from the reality.
What’s it like to have a heart attack?
You won’t necessarily fall dramatically to the floor, clutching at your chest – you may instead experience one or a number of these symptoms:
• chest pain or discomfort, which may spread to the arms, neck, jaw, stomach or back
• a dull pain, ache or ‘heavy’ feeling in your chest
• chest pain or discomfort which feels like indigestion but makes you feel generally unwell
• feeling sick, sweaty, breathless, lightheaded, dizzy or generally unwell as well as pain or discomfort in your chest.
Nearly half a million women in the UK have had a heart attack.
A heart attack is life threatening. If you think you could be having one, it’s vital that you phone 999 right away. Don’t wait – every second counts.
Nearly a million women suffer from angina, too – it’s a symptom of heart disease.
It often feels like a heaviness, tightness or dull persistent ache in your chest. It may spread to your arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach – or you may feel it in just one or some of these places. Symptoms vary from person to person. The pain can be severe or a mild discomfort and you may have trouble catching your breath.
Triggers include physical activity, emotional upset, cold weather or even after a meal.
When you get diagnosed, your doctor can prescribe medicines to prevent or relieve your symptoms
The British Heart Foundation brings home the message ‘beating heart disease one laugh at a time’ with a special feature starring Victoria Wood and other top names in British Comedy. The Angina Monologues will be showing on Sky1 on Christmas Day at 9:30pm