These moms didn’t realize they were having a heart attack. Why experts say it’s important to know the subtle signs.
Heart attacks are rising in younger people, especially women, which is why experts say people of all ages need to know the signs of a heart attack.
Heart symptoms you should never ignore – from sweating during light exercise to waking up tired
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WHO calls trans fats a 'toxic chemical that kills' — what foods have the substance?
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How — and when — to perform CPR on infants, kids and adults
About 90% of people who experience cardiac arrests outside of a hospital die. But CPR can double or triple a person’s survival chances.
Leslie Jordan, 67, dies from cardiac dysfunction and atherosclerosis — who's at risk?
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'American Idol' alum C.J. Harris, 31, dies of heart attack — signs, risks for young people
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Lisa Marie Presley, 54, dies from cardiac arrest — who is at risk?
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Artificial sweeteners may increase risk of heart disease: What do experts say?
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How do you know if you have an irregular heartbeat?
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Surgeons at NYU Langone transplanted pig hearts into two brain-dead humans
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How COVID-19 can affect your heart health
When COVID-19 first emerged, it was thought to be a respiratory disease primarily affecting the lungs. But as time went on and its list of symptoms reported grew longer, scientists learned that the disease can also impact other organs, including the heart.
What is broken heart syndrome? New study shows spike in cases during COVID-19
Why the signs and symptoms of this rare condition can mimic a heart attack.
Susan Lucci: What are the signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease?
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Woman who survived 2 heart attacks urges others to 'listen to your body'
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Susan Lucci, 75, opens up about undergoing second heart procedure: 'Be your own advocate'
The "All My Children" star is using her experience to advocate for others.
What is arteriosclerosis? Actor's cause of death often goes undetected until it's too late
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Bob Harper on the 'emotional trauma' of his heart attack and the importance of getting 'help when you need it'
The "Biggest Loser" star on learning to "pivot" after his health crisis and why "sometimes I don't want my trainers to be my life coach."
Heart disease affects men and women differently — do you know the signs?
There are some big differences in the way men and women experience heart disease. And doctors say knowing and understanding those differences could help save your life.
Heart disease could be affecting you — do you know the signs?
#1 Risk factors Whether you’re a man or a woman, there are several risk factors for heart disease that impact both sexes equally. Among those are tobacco use, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and lack of physical activity. But for women, doctors say there are additional risk factors and warning signs to watch out for. Dr. Sheila Sahni, an interventional cardiologist and the director of the women’s heart program at Sahni Heart Center in Clark, New Jersey, tells Yahoo Life, “Factors unique to women include autoimmune conditions, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, a history of breast cancer and having received chemotherapy or radiation therapy to the chest, as well as psychiatric issues such as depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental illness.” Sahni also says pregnancy can serve as a woman’s first cardiac stress test. “Conditions such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia – if you had them when you were pregnant, they can actually affect your chances of developing heart disease long after your pregnancy is over.” #2 Signs and symptoms Because women were excluded from early heart disease studies, many of our ideas about what a heart attack victim looks like come from the male perspective. “When men present with heart attacks, they tend to present similar to how we've seen it depicted in Hollywood – crushing chest pain in the center of their chest or their jaw clenching,” explains Sahni. “But when it comes to a woman, the signs and symptoms can be a lot more subtle.” Women experiencing a heart attack may feel a shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea or even heartburn. These less dramatic symptoms cause women to wait more than 30 percent longer than men before they head to the hospital. And once there, women are less likely to be properly diagnosed. Sahni advises women that “any new symptom between the navel and the nose that comes on with exertion, whether physical or emotional, and goes away with rest, needs to get checked out right away by a doctor.” #3 Causes and effects The reason why heart attacks in men tend to be more dramatic can be attributed to what’s going on inside the body. Sahni says male heart attack patients typically suffer a full blockage within the heart’s blood vessels, abruptly stopping the flow of blood to the heart. In contrast, when a woman has a heart attack, it often stems from a slow deterioration of the arteries. “So if you imagine a scenario of pipes, if a pipe is fully clogged, that creates a dramatic backup,” says Sahni. “But if a pipe slowly erodes over time, the presentation might be more subtle.” But no matter what your gender is, Sahni says knowing your risk factors, signs and symptoms is key to staying heart healthy. “Knowledge is power,” says Sahni. “Educate yourself so you can be your own heart hero and prevent heart disease in your own life.”
Are you at risk for heart failure? Here are 3 warning signs to look out for
Would you know the warning signs of heart failure if it was happening to you or someone you love? Experts say these are the signs to pay attention to.
3 signs of heart failure to look out for
Symptom #1: Shortness of breath Everyone gets winded once in a while, but people who might be developing heart failure experience shortness of breath that’s a bit different. Dr. Nicole Harkin, a preventive cardiologist and founder of Whole Heart Cardiology in San Francisco, tells Yahoo Life that when the heart cannot pump blood properly, the blood starts to back up, causing congestion and fluid buildup in the lungs. She says these patients may feel breathless while performing normal daily activities that they “used to be able to do easily,” such as walking or climbing stairs Symptom #2: Feeling fatigued Heart failure also impacts the heart’s ability to pump enough oxygen to the muscles within your body. Without the right amount of oxygen, those muscles can get worn out quickly. “People with heart failure often notice that they're experiencing fatigue or extreme exhaustion,” explains Harkin. “This is because the heart isn't able to meet the metabolic demands of the body.” Symptom #3: Abnormal swelling As blood flow from the heart slows, over time, it can back up in your veins. “The pressure from this backup causes fluid to accumulate in the soft tissues of the legs, as well as sometimes in the abdomen,” explains Harkin. This buildup of excess fluid in body tissues is called edema and is another indication of heart failure. “How you can check for swelling in your legs is by touching your finger on your shin,” Harkin instructs. “If you notice that you can really see the [deep] imprint of your finger, that's called pitting edema and may be a sign of heart failure. Talk to your doctor if you notice this.”
3 things you can do right now to improve your heart health
Check out these three easy, expert-recommended steps to improve your heart health — one you can even do lying down.
3 things to start doing right now to improve your heart health
Need some inspiration? Check out these three easy-to-digest steps to improve your heart health. #1 Pay attention to what’s on your plate One simple way to get to a healthier weight and also keep your heart healthy is by taking a look at your diet — starting with cutting back on the amount of meat you eat. “If you're currently eating meat at most meals, I would start by trying to have meatless Mondays,” Dr. Nicole Harkin, a preventive cardiologist and founder of Whole Heart Cardiology in San Francisco, tells Yahoo Life. “Consider something like eggplant, cauliflower, tofu — all of which really sub well for meat products.” #2 Get up and move The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of activity per week, that’s about 20 minutes per day. Take a walk, climb some stairs or mix in some weights. “While there's lots of evidence about aerobic activity and the benefit on heart health, there's increasing evidence that strength training is also really good for our hearts,” says Harkin. “Strength training can either be dynamic resistance training like weightlifting or isometric training, which is like a plank.” #3 Just sleep on it Harkin says when you’re sleep deprived or experience fragmented sleep, it can increase inflammation and create higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. To get the recommended seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, Harkin suggests that you set goals and stick to them. “Have some sort of sleep regularity, just like having a set bedtime routine for our kids,” she suggests. “Dim the lights a few hours before bed. Try not to have anything to eat two to three hours before you go to sleep. Also limit blue light before sleeping. All of these things can help our bodies set the stage for good quality sleep.”