Subtle Heart Attack Symptoms Women Should Not Ignore

Many people think that dramatic chest pain will be the first thing they will notice if they experience a heart attack. That isn’t true, especially in women. Dr...

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Subtle Heart Attack Symptoms Women Should Not Ignore
3 Min Read April 28th, 2017 Updated:May 28th, 2021

Many people think that dramatic chest pain will be the first thing they will notice if they experience a heart attack. That isn't true, especially for women. Dr. Leslie Cho at the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic says that while many people associate chest pain with heart attacks, for a good reason, but it's not the whole story — especially for women.

"While chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack, women can have symptoms that aren't related to chest pain at all. They need to be on the lookout for other, subtle symptoms," Dr. Cho says.

There are three symptoms women should watch for ― these could be benign or a big cause for concern - read more here.

Pay Attention to Health

Being prepared for a heart event is always prudent. Making changes in lifestyle to decrease the risk of having a heart event is also a very good idea. In addition to obvious health issues of a heart attack, the need for long-term health care can arise suddenly, including after a heart attack or stroke. 

Based on the study's results, the American Heart Association says people have higher risks of suffering subsequent strokes and dementia if they had heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure before their first stroke. Strokes and dementia are also leading causes for people to require long-term care, which impact family and have a tremendous impact on your income and savings.

Researchers compared 1,237 stroke survivors to a stroke-free group of about 5,000 people from an existing long-term study. They found:

  • One year after suffering a stroke, survivors retained a high risk of a recurrent stroke or dementia for at least five years.
  • After one year, first-time stroke survivors were three times more likely than those who hadn't suffered a stroke to have a recurrent stroke.
  • Stroke survivors were nearly two times more likely to have dementia than those who hadn't suffered a stroke.
  • Among stroke survivors, 39 percent of recurrent strokes and 10 percent of post-stroke dementia cases were attributed to pre-stroke cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, low levels of high-density lipoprotein good cholesterol, smoking, and transient ischemic attack (TIA), or mini-stroke.

"We already know that stroke patients have an increased risk of recurrent stroke and dementia; what we didn't know was whether this increased risk persists for a long time after stroke and whether heart disease risk factors present before the first stroke influenced the risk of recurrent strokes or dementia," said M. Arfan Ikram, M.D., Ph.D., senior study author and associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Neurology, and Radiology at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Get Blood Pressure Checked Regularly

Experts say that even women who feel healthy should have their blood pressure checked by their primary care physician regularly. We all undergo changes in our health, bodies, and mind as we get older. Paying more attention to health and aging is something everyone should do after age 40. 

Protecting your future retirement savings from these health issues and other issues related to aging is just as important as trying to prevent or delay these health issues in the first place. 

People require long-term care due to illness, accidents, or the impact of aging. So this means you can be healthy and just need long-term health care because of age. Either way, addressing the financial costs and burdens of aging before retirement is key to enjoying a successful retirement. 

Plan for Future Long-Term Health Care

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will safeguard assets and ease the burdens care can place on family. It will also provide the resources for quality caregivers, preferably at home, which most people are concerned about.

Long-term care will impact you, your family, your savings, and your lifestyle. Advance planning will provide peace of mind. 

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

If you are planning for your retirement, how would you want your family address your future need for long-term health care? As you get older, there is no question that you will experience changes in your health, body, and mind. These changes will increase your need for long-term care services. 

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will provide guaranteed tax-free resources so you can afford your choice of quality care, including in-home care. Your family will have time to be family. The result will mean more harmony within the family. 

Women are at greater risk for long-term health care because of longevity. Often, women become the primary caregiver by default for a husband. LTC Insurance makes it easier for everyone.

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Long-Term Care Insurance is medically underwritten, and the rules vary between companies. Premiums can vary as much as 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage. 

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