Can Stress Lead to a Heart Attack for Women?
Many people underestimate the impact that stress can have on the body, especially the heart. Risk factors for coronary artery disease, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity, affect both women and men. However, other factors have been identified as playing a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women, including:
• Mental stress and depression
• Alcohol consumption
• Pregnancy complications
• Diabetes or inflammatory diseases
Women are also more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain. Mental stress may often trigger these symptoms, which could include:
• Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back, or abdominal discomfort
• Shortness of breath
• Pain in one or both arms
• Nausea or vomiting
• Lightheadedness or dizziness
• Unusual fatigue
Don’t wait until it’s too late! Aim to find active ways to manage your stress. Inactive ways you may use to manage stress – such as watching television, surfing the Internet, or playing video games – may seem relaxing, but they may increase your stress over the long term. Curb stress and-heart related issues by making lifestyle changes now and incorporating more over time. Go to mayoclinichealthsystem.org for more information about maintaining a healthier lifestyle.