Signs of a heart attack in women over 60

Signs of a heart attack in women may have features that make diagnosis difficult. Myocardial infarction is an acute heart disease, which is accompanied by the death of heart muscle cells due to the cessation of blood supply in it. Dead cells are replaced by connective tissue, due to which the functions of the heart muscle are not fully restored. It is important to know the signs of a heart attack in order to recognize it as soon as possible and correctly provide assistance – a person’s life may depend on this.

How to recognize a high risk of developing a heart attack long before its onset? There are a number of clinical signs that can help determine the approach of a cardiovascular catastrophe. Most women who have had acute myocardial infarction showed signs of the disease about 25-30 days before the attack:

  • chronic fatigue syndrome – increased fatigue, lack of energy, which does not relieve even a long rest. Over time, causeless fatigue, fatigue becomes stronger;
  • superficial or intermittent sleep, insomnia;
  • sleep snoring, apnea;
  • swelling of the legs, feet and hands caused by impaired blood flow and weak cardiac activity. Numbness or tingling of the limbs;
  • pain in the stomach, frequent disorders of the gastrointestinal tract for no apparent reason – this symptom is explained by the fact that the diaphragm and digestive organs are close to the heart muscle. Thus, with damage to the lower parts of the posterior wall of the ventricle of the heart, pain is given to this area;
  • short bouts of unexplained anxiety;
  • frequent headaches, episodes of visual impairment;
  • bleeding and soreness of the gums caused by a violation of the blood supply to the peripheral vessels;
  • difficulty in trying to take a deep breath or shortness of breath with little physical exertion. The feeling of shortness of breath passes after rest;
  • heart palpitations, arrhythmia – the consequences of the development of heart failure or damage to the coronary artery;
  • increased urination at night;
  • discomfort in the chest, in the region of the heart – patients have a feeling similar to muscle strain.

The harbingers of a possible heart attack are usually fleeting in nature, they manifest and disappear on their own. Sometimes a heart attack in women is almost asymptomatic, in such cases the patient may not experience severe pain, attribute the weakened state to osteochondrosis, pressure surges or general malaise.

When a cardiovascular attack begins, it is manifested by fairly pronounced symptoms. The most characteristic sign of impending acute heart attack, which can be used as a test, is the appearance of acute, compressive pain in the chest, which lasts more than 15-20 minutes and does not go away after taking analgesics or nitroglycerin.

  • shortness of breath, feeling of suffocation;
  • numbness of the left side (arm, leg, neck);
  • dry and painful cough;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • feeling short of breath;
  • decrease or increase in pressure;
  • visual impairment;
  • excitement of the nervous system;
  • weakness, pallor of the skin, dizziness;
  • unaccountable fear of death;
  • cold, sticky sweat caused by a significant amount of stress hormones that the adrenal glands secrete in the blood.

Often, the symptoms of a heart attack in women are atypical or vague, fuzzy. Signs of a heart attack in women over 50 years of age can mask under exacerbation of pancreatitis (nausea, vomiting, heartburn), an arrhythmia attack, bronchospasm, neurological disorders (neurosis, confused speech, blurred consciousness, impaired coordination of movements), flu or a cold.

Sometimes a heart attack in women is almost asymptomatic, in such cases, the patient may not experience severe pain, attribute the weakened condition to osteochondrosis, pressure surges or general malaise. The absence of cardiac pain in a heart attack is especially common in patients with diabetes mellitus. What should I do if these symptoms occur in my family or friends?

There are some features of the course of myocardial infarction in women:

  • pain is not as intense as in men. Often, cardiac pain in a heart attack in women is not acute, but a pulling and aching character. It is believed that the reason for this may be a higher pain threshold;
  • stomach pain – this symptom is rarely found in men and is explained by the fact that the digestive organs in the female body are located close to the heart muscle;
  • pain in the arms, back, neck, jaws. Pain in women often radiates.

A study of the dynamics of morbidity showed that mortality from myocardial infarction among women was 9%, while among men it was only 4%. The probability of death in the first few hours after a heart attack in women of young (up to 30 years) and middle (over 35 years) age is 68% higher than in men of the same age group.

With the development of a pre-infarction state, there is a likelihood of problems with digestion and an increase in body temperature. In most cases, acute pain in the chest area is manifested, but many women do not even realize that they suffered a heart attack, and sometimes several.

If you carefully consider your own health and listen to the signals that the body sends, you can determine the approach of the disease in time and prevent serious negative consequences.

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Harbingers of ailment

In women, such pre-infarction symptoms can be observed:

  • legs begin to swell strongly, for no reason;
  • there is an increase in blood pressure;
  • insomnia begins to bother;
  • in the thoracic region there is a feeling of discomfort;
  • there is a feeling of nausea;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • vomiting opens;
  • a feeling of anxiety develops;
  • urination becomes more frequent at night;
  • pain in the back of the head;
  • gums begin to bleed;
  • pain in the left shoulder;
  • arrhythmia develops;
  • shortness of breath appears.

The development of all these signs of an ailment occurs against a background of insufficient or irregular circulation. The most common symptoms are high blood pressure for several days and severe swelling of the legs. Many women do not immediately decide to see a doctor, which is why they lose the opportunity to prevent an attack.

Gently expressed signs of the disease lead to the fact that a microinfarction is transferred, which patients will only know if certain complications appear. There are cases when the doctor cannot recognize the pathology and make an accurate diagnosis. The manifestation of the disease, according to the main signs, resembles food poisoning. The main symptoms of a microinfarction in women are:

  • a feeling of weakness throughout the body;
  • severe vomiting;
  • burning and sharp pain in the chest area;
  • cold sweat;
  • sharp pains in the abdomen;
  • severe and ongoing heartburn.

With the development of an acute heart attack, pain in the lower jaw and occiput is manifested. The most severe pain in the area of ​​the left shoulder and chest may be acute or aching. The most important sign of an attack is severe pain on the left side in the chest area, which cannot be removed with nitroglycerin. There are cases when seizures are repeatedly repeated for several hours after a short period of time.

  • sweating intensifies sharply;
  • severe shortness of breath and dizziness begins to bother;
  • it becomes difficult to breathe;
  • disturbed by the ongoing feeling of nausea;
  • the left hand begins to go numb;
  • speech becomes confused and slurred;
  • there is a strong and inexplicable panic and a sense of anxiety.

Depending on how vivid the symptoms of the disease are, experts distinguish several forms of pathology:

  • Typical may be manifested by all signs.
  • An asymptomatic form of the disease is determined only if an electrocardiogram is made.
  • Gastralgic manifests pain in the abdomen.
  • Cerebral is characterized by symptoms that are similar to a stroke.
  • Arrhythmic flows with severe cardiac arrhythmias.
  • Asthmatic is manifested by pronounced breathing problems.

When the first signs of this ailment appear, you must immediately call a doctor. If the patient receives medical care within 10 minutes after the attack, the risk of negative consequences is minimized. Before the doctor arrives, you can do the following:

  • the patient should be put on a flat surface, slightly raise his head;
  • you can not get up;
  • tight clothes need to be loosened;
  • the patient is given an Analgin tablet;
  • nitroglycerin is placed under the tongue;
  • if the doctor does not arrive within half an hour, the tablets are given again;
  • the patient is provided with access to fresh air;
  • if cardiac arrest occurs, an indirect heart massage is performed.

Simple preventive measures will help reduce the likelihood of developing a heart attack – moderate physical activity, proper nutrition, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, good rest, avoiding stressful situations, etc. It is very easy to prevent the development of a heart attack if you monitor your health from a young age. It is necessary not only to play sports and eat right, but also regularly undergo preventive examinations at the doctor.

The author of the article: Yachnaya Alina, an oncologist surgeon, higher medical education with a degree in General Medicine. Myocardial infarction in women does not always have classic symptoms. From this article you will learn: what are the first signs that indicate the onset of the disease, and what symptoms of a heart attack in women are the reason for urgent seeking medical help (in an ambulance or in a hospital).

A classic sign that identifies myocardial infarction is acute chest pain. This symptom is called anginal status, and manifests itself in 95% of cases in patients under 60 years of age. But these statistics apply more to men. Women are mostly susceptible to myocardial infarction after 60 years. Until this age, they are insured against this disease due to the high level of estrogen.

Do not tolerate heart pain, especially severe!

Rehabilitation after a heart attack

  • causes and risk factors for its development;
  • harbingers;
  • angina pectoris and microinfarction.

Their detection indicates a potential threat of a heart attack.


Factors that pose a threat to myocardial infarction in women include: age, hormonal levels, heredity, lifestyle, and concomitant diseases.

It is impossible to influence some risk factors for a heart attack, while others are amenable to medical correction or elimination. Knowing and accounting for the causes of heart attack will delay, prevent or reduce myocardial damage.

  • heredity (blood relatives suffered from ischemic heart disease until 55 years old);
  • age from 50–55 years;
  • early menopause.
  • arterial hypertension;
  • high cholesterol and blood sugar;
  • obesity (especially abdominal type);
  • improper nutrition (excess animal fats, salt, lack of fiber);
  • chronic stress;
  • irregular physical activity;
  • smoking, alcohol consumption of more than 20 g per day;
  • prolonged use of contraceptive hormones.

Before menopause, which occurs in 50–55 years, a woman’s heart is under the protection of estrogen. They lower blood viscosity, dilate blood vessels and positively affect the spectrum of lipids in the blood. Thus, female sex hormones level the main mechanisms of heart attack development: thrombosis, spasm of the heart vessels and the appearance of atherosclerotic plaques.

In postmenopausal women, estrogen production stops, the heart remains without hormonal protection.

  • physical or psycho-emotional overstrain;
  • the first hour after waking up (the body experiences as stress);
  • sharp cooling and change in atmospheric pressure.

A combination of adverse factors increases the risk of a cardiovascular accident.


Symptoms of impending myocardial damage may appear several hours or months before acute heart problems occur.

  • causeless fatigue;
  • frequent breathing or a feeling of lack of air;
  • aching teeth in the cold (a symptom of angina pectoris);
  • stomach ache, nausea, and after vomiting there is no feeling of relief;
  • legs do not fit in previously comfortable shoes (swelling);
  • bouts of sweating, after which, after a few minutes, chest pain appears (excessive activation of the sympathetic nervous system);
  • daytime sleep longer than 40 minutes, insomnia at night;
  • discomfort in the chest, arm, or lower jaw.

Recognizing the precursors and going to the doctor will prevent the development of acute cardiac pathology.


In 30% of women, small foci of necrosis of the heart muscle (microinfarction) lead to the development of large focal lesion. Microinfarction is regarded as a harbinger of a heart attack, it can manifest itself with the same first signs, but it often proceeds without pronounced symptoms, which is why it is often called “leg-borne”.

Unlike the signs of pathology in men, the symptoms of the disease in women are not so pronounced that it carries a great danger. Many simply suffer pain, without giving it much importance. Very often this pathology occurs in women suffering from high blood pressure, chronic fatigue and shortness of breath. But there are other harbingers of an approaching heart attack.


causeless swelling of the legs;

  • a feeling of “fatigue”, constant fatigue even after a long rest;
  • sleep disturbances;
  • night trips to the toilet become more frequent – urination becomes more frequent precisely at night;
  • even in a state of relative calm, shortness of breath is noted without any physical exertion;
  • nausea may appear and vomiting may open;
  • aggravated or appears, if it was not, periodontal disease;
  • the occipital part of the head begins to hurt;
  • discomfort is noted in the chest, as if something is interfering, the left shoulder is painful, especially when changing the position of the body, pathologically sensitive to touch;
  • blood pressure rises;
  • there is a feeling of panic fear and doom.
  • If a woman has one (or more) of these symptoms for several days in a row, you can not hesitate in any case, you need to urgently consult a doctor who will conduct the necessary studies and help prevent a patient’s life-threatening condition.

    Under this name, a dangerous pathology is hidden, in which a part of the heart muscle is affected with its partial death and replacement of the affected area with connective tissue, not capable of contraction.

    But depending on gender, the characteristics of the onset of this disease vary significantly.

    How to recognize a heart attack in women in the early stages to provide her with the necessary help. There are special signs of the disease.

    1. Pain in myocardial infarction in women in the shoulder joint, pain gives to the left side.
    2. Heart failure caused by any reason.
    3. There was a feeling that a hot, pressing object (such as a brick) was lying on the chest.
    4. Dizziness occurs.
    5. Movement becomes stiff.
    6. Coordination is broken.
    7. Speech becomes confused, as in a stroke.
    8. Coherent speech turns into delusional.
    9. Conscious activity ceases.
    10. High blood pressure increases the risk of acute coronary artery disease and is often fixed pressure with a heart attack in women.
    11. Rapid night urination, coupled with other symptoms, can be a sign of heart failure.
    12. Heart failure that occurs even after light exertion, a feeling of lack of oxygen.
    13. Insomnia, the causes of which are not clear, is also a distant symptom of an impending ailment.
    14. Even mild, but not over time, pain in the area of ​​the heart, causing slight discomfort, is a disturbing factor.

    Constant fatigue, which continues for a long time, even after waking up from sleep, which does not pass after rest, should alert. Even worse, when a tired state becomes chronic. Regular dental periodontal disease, when the gums bleed and hurt, indicates poor local blood supply. Although a distant, but a certain sign of distant heart attack.

    Frequent swelling of the right or left leg, as well as the feet, can occur due to a violation of the cardiac activity of the heart. Familiar to many, even people of a young age, the arrhythmic heartbeat, that is, a malfunction of the artery that pumps blood to the heart.

    Heart failure caused by shortness of breath and shortness of breath. A signal that the heart is working with insufficient productivity. If coughing occurs during shortness of breath, then this means that pulmonary circulation is slowed down, necrosis of a significant area of ​​the left ventricle can occur. Possible pulmonary edema.

    A sharp sensation of mortal fear incomprehensible to a healthy person, a premonition of impending troubles, sowing panic feelings.

    Sudden awakenings from sleep, after which a person feels sticky and cold sweat, gives a signal about the beginning of the development of a serious pathological disease, possibly myocardial infarction.

    A headache, often recurring, not only brings suffering, but can also indicate, along with other symptoms, an imminent threat – myocardial infarction.

    The causeless state of anxiety, severe anxiety, characteristic of women, should be alarming. It can talk about the onset of coronary insufficiency, be its first sign.

    There are burning pains and pain in the abdomen, scapula, neck, etc. The pain is compressive. May be given to teeth, ears, collarbone, lower jaw.

    Signs of myocardial infarction in women

    Yachnaya Alina, oncologist surgeon, higher medical education with a degree in General Medicine.

    A classic sign that identifies myocardial infarction is acute chest pain. This symptom is called anginal status, and manifests itself in 95% of cases in patients under 60 years of age.

    But these statistics apply more to men. Women are mostly susceptible to myocardial infarction after 60 years.

    Until this age, they are insured against this disease due to the high level of estrogen.

    Estrogens prevent the development of a heart attack, preventing the formation of atherosclerotic plaques and reducing the contractility of the walls of the coronary vessels. Thus, two possible causes of the onset of the disease are leveled: irreversible spasm of the coronary artery and its blockage with cholesterol plaques.

    In the postmenopausal period, as estrogen synthesis is inhibited, women are more likely to develop myocardial infarction.

    But at this age they come with a baggage of other chronic diseases: arterial hypertension, arrhythmia, and a number of other pathologies that are not related to the activity of the heart muscle.

    The combination of these diseases, together with the features of localization of the affected area of ​​the heart, do not always give the classic symptoms of a heart attack. In 25–40% of cases in women, atypical forms of myocardial infarction are recorded, which greatly complicates the diagnosis.

    Myocardial infarction is dangerous not only by potential disability, but also by a rather high mortality rate. A timely consultation with a cardiologist minimizes the risk of its development. Therefore, women need to know what symptoms are the first signs of an irreversible pathology.

    Despite the fact that women suffer from this pathology 2 times less than men, more than 200 women die from heart attack in our country every day.

    Everyone should know the signs of a heart attack in a woman in order to promptly call doctors and provide first aid.

    Pathology in women

    According to statistics, women suffer from myocardial infarction much less often than men. Hormonal background protects them from vascular stenosis. But, despite this, pathology is increasingly recorded in women.

    Doctors attribute this to the modern rhythm of life, when women carry enormous loads, are in constant stress and do not care about their health.

    Most often, pathology occurs in women during menopause, but young patients sometimes go to hospitals with this diagnosis.

    Heart attack in women has its own distinctive features. If men most often have an attack in an acute form, women may experience malaise even a few days before the disaster. This is justified by the fact that women have smaller sizes of the heart muscle, and the pulse is most often somewhat faster.

    The first signs of a heart attack in women can occur long before the attack. The pre-infarction state is characterized by causeless fatigue.

    A woman may feel tired even after a night’s sleep.

    Additional features are:

    • Insomnia.
    • Cold sweat.
    • Snore.
    • Stop breathing in a dream.
    • Violations of the digestive tract.
    • Pressing chest pains extending to the arm and shoulder.
    • Frequent urge to urinate.
    • Headache.
    • Bleeding gums.

    All these symptoms in women develop amid insufficient circulation. In addition, women may experience increased pressure and swelling of the lower extremities. Most often, women do not immediately consult a doctor. This is due to the fact that they are more patient for pain and call an ambulance already at the time of an acute attack.

    The first symptom of an attack is of course chest pain on the left side. This pain can be given to the arm, neck, scapula, lower jaw, teeth, nape. The pain symptom is not stopped by nitroglycerin. Attacks can be repeated at short intervals for several hours.

    The second characteristic symptom is shortness of breath. It can occur with light loads and even at rest. The combination of shortness of breath and chest pain is an occasion to urgently call an ambulance.

    Other characteristic symptoms for women with myocardial infarction are:

    • Low blood pressure.
    • Cold sweat secretion.
    • Lowering body temperature.
    • Numbness of the hands.
    • Dizziness and nausea.
    • Impaired speech and coordination.
    • Feeling of fear, panic.

    All these signs belong to a typical form of pathology. However, often the symptoms of a heart attack in women can disguise themselves as other diseases. Atypical forms of pathology may manifest the following symptoms:

    • Bronchial spasm.
    • Pulmonary edema.
    • Nausea.
    • Vomiting.
    • Abdominal pain.
    • Headache.
    • Visual impairment.
    • Loss of consciousness.

    Myocardial infarction in women can develop against the background of various diseases of the cardiovascular system. It all starts with the development of ischemia, angina pectoris and arrhythmia.

    All of these diseases without timely treatment can lead to the development of a heart attack. The attack develops at the moment when the coronary artery is clogged. Myocardial cells begin to die from a lack of oxygen.

    The muscle can no longer fully contract.

    The risk group includes women with the following diseases:

    • Diabetes.
    • Overweight.
    • Atherosclerosis.
    • Rheumatism.
    • Heart disease.
    • Heart failure.
    • Bad habits.

    In addition to the medical risks of developing heart disease, there are also household factors that exacerbate the situation and significantly increase the risk of heart attack. Among household risks, doctors distinguish:

    • Stress.
    • Sedentary lifestyle.
    • Incorrect food.
    • Bad ecology.

    First aid

    If you notice signs of myocardial infarction in a woman, you need to urgently take measures to alleviate her condition. The sequence of actions should be as follows:

    1. Stop physical activity.
    2. Call an ambulance.
    3. Lay the patient on the bed, raise his head.
    4. Give aspirin and nitroglycerin.
    5. Give a sick corvalol.
    6. In case of loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest, conduct resuscitation measures.
    7. Hospitalize a patient in an ambulance.

    In no case should you refuse hospitalization. Treatment of myocardial infarction is possible only in a hospital in the intensive care unit. The patient should be under the supervision of a doctor to avoid the consequences of an attack. Possible complications:

    • Heart failure in acute form. This violation is characterized by attacks of lack of air, pallor of the skin, deviation of blood pressure, foamy discharge from the mouth.
    • Cardiac aneurysm. Usually, the pathology develops 15 days after a heart attack. Shortness of breath, arrhythmia, signs of inflammation, temperature, heart failure appear.
    • The syndrome is post-infarction. Pathology is dangerous by the development of various inflammatory diseases from pericarditis to pneumonia. Symptoms include fever, joint pain, high ESR, and leukocytosis.
    • Pericarditis. A dangerous pathology, which is characterized by inflammation of the pericardium. With pathology, serious venous congestion, pain behind the sternum, vomiting, shortness of breath, and dry cough occur.

    All these complications can significantly complicate the recovery and rehabilitation of the patient. For this reason, at the first signs of a heart attack, you should consult a doctor.

    To prevent complications, the patient should be in the hospital for the prescribed time. An extract is possible only after approval by a doctor.

    Remember that the symptoms of myocardial infarction in women can not always be acute, with any complaints of heart pain in combination with shortness of breath and poor health should be an occasion to call an ambulance.


    Often patients ask what preventive measures must be taken to keep the heart healthy. Doctors advise you to follow a few simple rules so you never experience heart pain, namely:

    • Moderate physical activity. Remember that the heart is a muscle and it needs to be trained, but strong loads can wear out the heart muscle, and therefore everything is good in moderation.
    • Every year you need to undergo preventive examinations. If you feel unwell, consult a doctor.
    • Everyone should know their pressure. All women over 40 need to have a blood pressure monitor at home and regularly measure their pressure.
    • Watch your body weight. Weight must be stable. You can not quickly lose weight and get better. Ideally, the weight should be at the same level as in 30 years.
    • Full rest. A person needs to get enough sleep to keep his heart healthy.
    • Active lifestyle. Try to walk more and be in the nature. Take your car off for the weekend, walk around.
    • Avoid stress. It is proved that overly emotional women are more likely to suffer from a heart attack than balanced ladies.
    • Eat right. The diet of women after 40 years should include vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, dried fruits, honey, low-fat meat, seafood. Cut down on fatty foods, fried foods, canned foods, transgenic fats, sausages, and processed foods.
    • Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Bad habits become the cause of the development of many diseases, including heart diseases.

    In fact, it is not so difficult to recognize a heart attack. With any course of the attack, signs of myocardial infarction in women include pain, shortness of breath, and fear.

    It is fear that becomes the impetus that motivates the patient to call an ambulance. Remember that the risks of a heart attack in women increase with age.

    It is especially important to monitor your health with the onset of menopause, because at this time a woman loses her natural defense – the hormonal background.

    What is myocardial infarction? A serious disease in which part of the cells of the muscles of the heart die. The connective tissue formed in their place is not able to contract. The circulatory process is disturbed or stopped. The area deprived of food dies, forming a scar. The attack causes heart failure, often fatal. The main causes of the disease in women are:

    • diabetes;
    • excess weight;
    • hypodynamia;
    • age after 50 years;
    • alcohol consumption;
    • high cholesterol;
    • smoking;
    • heredity.

    Unlike symptoms in men, the signs of a heart attack in a woman are not so pronounced. This is dangerous because patients suffer pain without giving it meaning.

    Often there are diseases with high blood pressure, shortness of breath, chronic fatigue. Some people have problems with digestion, fever. Acute pain in the chest during this, as a rule, manifests itself.

    • intense pain in the heart, shoulder, or upper abdomen, lasting more than 30 minutes and not eliminated by taking Nitroglycerin or other nitrate-containing or vasodilating agents;
    • pains of a burning, compressive, tearing or dagger character that do not resolve, as with angina pectoris, even at rest;
    • the return of pain to the left (sometimes right) arm, elbow, wrist, neck, jaw, nape, interscapular region or shoulder blade;
    • fear of death, causing panic and intense anxiety;
    • the presence of dizziness against the background of pain, severe pallor with acrocyanosis (cyanosis of the mucous membranes), cold, sticky sweat, nausea and vomiting, fainting;
    • difficulty breathing and shortness of breath (these manifestations increase even with minimal load, for example, after turning the body);
    • violation of the rhythm of the pulse and its rapidity;
    • numbness of the hands;
    • initially an increase, and then a decrease in blood pressure;
    • temperature increase up to 38 ° C (sometimes).
    • sleep disturbances (up to insomnia);
    • unreasonable anxiety;
    • snoring or sleep apnea syndrome;
    • frequent and inexplicable fatigue (even after a full weekend or vacation);
    • swelling of the feet and legs;
    • digestive disorders for no apparent reason (the occurrence of such manifestations is explained by the fact that in women the diaphragm is higher than in men, and the lower parts of the heart are located closer to the stomach and pain is often given to this organ);
    • frequent headaches;
    • arrhythmic pulse;
    • sudden onset of previously absent dyspnea (this is the first sign of coronary insufficiency);
    • discomfort and choking pulling pains in the chest, giving to the neck, arm, shoulder or upper back;
    • bleeding gums;
    • frequent urination at night.
    • reduce the burden on the heart (put the patient on the bed);
    • increase oxygen access (open window);
    • relieve spasm of blood vessels of the heart (nitroglycerin 1 tablet 2 times with an interval of 5 minutes);
    • reduce the rate of thrombus formation (aspirin at a dose of 160–325 mg, chew)
    • reduce stress (Corvalol, Valocordin);
    • prepare for hospitalization (collect documents, extracts, certificates).
    • The first attack of angina pectoris;
    • Increased or increased duration of angina pectoris with a previously diagnosed disease;
    • The appearance of shortness of breath after a little physical exertion, dizziness for no apparent reason or the occurrence of swelling in the legs in the evenings.
    • The patient should be seated or laid down from a reclining position: the head should be raised, the legs bent at best. In order to avoid fainting, a patient with low pressure is placed in a bed or on the floor without pillows with his legs raised up. If the patient has severe shortness of breath, he is seated, and his legs are lowered to the floor.
    • To unfasten close clothes at the patient (tie, belt, top buttons on clothes), open windows for access of fresh air.
    • Quickly give the patient half or a whole tablet (250-300 mg) of Aspirin. Chew a pill! Give under the tongue Nitroglycerin. There are drug options in sprays (Nitroprint, Nitromint, Nitro-Mik) – 1-2 doses are given. If previously the patient was prescribed antiarrhythmic drugs (Metaprolol, Atenolol), 1 tab. (also chew!), regardless of the reception as prescribed by the doctor.
    • If the pain does not subside within 3 minutes, call an ambulance. Prior to her arrival, it is recommended to give Nitroglycerin with an interval of 5 minutes. no more than 3 times. It is advisable to measure a / d. Nitroglycerin reduces pressure, so fainting should not be allowed at low rates.
    • When cardiac arrest – the patient lost consciousness, breathing stopped – an indirect heart massage is immediately performed (the patient is laid on the floor or other hard surface) and continues until the doctor arrives. Technique: pressing with folded palms on the heart area 2 times per second. 3 cm to the deflection of the chest. Second option: three pressure on the chest, one exhalation into the patient’s mouth or nose.
    • The most acute period – lasts about 2 hours from the onset of pain. The symptomatic picture is most pronounced. It is during this period that emergency care for a heart attack minimizes the risk of serious consequences.
    • Acute heart attack – the period lasts up to 7-14 days. At this time, the necrotic site is delimited. Pressure usually decreases (even in hypertensive patients), the pulse becomes rare (bradycardia). The maximum temperature rise is observed for 2-3 days.
    • Subacute stage – lasts 4-8 weeks., During this time, the necrotic area is replaced by granulation tissue. The intensity of the painful symptoms is markedly reduced.
    • Post-infarction period – lasts up to 6 months. During this time, the scar after myocardial infarction becomes denser, and the heart muscle adapts and restores its functionality.

    Rehabilitation after a heart attack

    • adaptation of the body to a new state of the heart;
    • prevention of severe post-infarction complications;
    • minimizing the risk of re-heart attack.

    The consequences of a heart attack in women depend on the size of the focus, the presence of complications, concomitant diseases and age. With a large focal heart attack with complications (heart failure, aneurysm, arrhythmias), the prognosis is less favorable than with a microinfarction.

    Drug treatment aimed at restoring the heart, is prescribed by the doctor according to individual indications.

    General principles of rehabilitation relate to a lifestyle after a heart attack. Their registration allows you to recover from the disease faster.

    1. Rejection of bad habits.
    2. Nutrition correction: the inclusion in the diet of products that improve blood properties and microcirculation (nuts, citrus, fatty fish) and the rejection of excess animal fats and salt.
    3. Gradual expansion of physical activity. Walking in the air, exercise therapy.
    4. Body weight control.
    5. Correction of blood pressure, lipids and glucose.
    6. Psychologist’s help in overcoming stressful situations.

    You should not give up feasible pursuit of your favorite business and communication. A positive attitude and interest in life are the best helpers on the path to recovery.

    Complications of myocardial infarction in both women and men can be different. Their severity largely depends on the state of health, the extent of damage to the tissues of the heart muscle, the timeliness and accuracy of first aid. Often after an attack, the patient develops such early post-infarction complications as arrhythmias and heart failure, which can lead to pulmonary edema and death.

    The occurrence of these complications is explained by the fact that the replacement of part of the heart muscle with connective tissue and the formation of a scar reduce the contractility of the myocardium. In more rare cases, the earliest consequences of a heart attack are: rupture of the heart, pericarditis, vascular thrombosis (up to ischemic stroke).

    With extensive heart attacks and volume scars, the formation of aneurysm of the heart is possible. Such a complication is life-threatening for the patient, since the aneurysm can rupture and always creates favorable conditions for thrombosis. That is why such patients always need cardiac surgery. The following conditions are related to the long-term consequences of a heart attack:

    • chronic heart failure;
    • parietal thromboendocarditis;
    • neurotrophic disorders;
    • Dressler’s syndrome (pleurisy, pericarditis, pneumonitis).
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    The consequences of a heart attack in women depend on the size of the focus, the presence of complications, concomitant diseases and age. With a large-focal heart attack with complications (heart failure, aneurysm, arrhythmias), the prognosis is less favorable than with a microinfarction. A doctor prescribes medical treatment aimed at restoring the heart’s work according to individual indications. General principles of rehabilitation relate to the lifestyle after a heart attack. Their registration allows you to recover from the disease faster.

  • Nutrition correction: the inclusion in the diet of products that improve blood properties and microcirculation (nuts, citrus, fatty fish) and the rejection of excess animal fats and salt.
  • Gradual expansion of physical activity. Walking in the air, exercise therapy.
  • Body weight control.
  • Correction of blood pressure, lipids and glucose.
  • Psychologist’s help in overcoming stressful situations.

    Heart healthy foods

    Specificity and features of the development of pathology depending on gender

    • Most often, left ventricular infarction is diagnosed, while the most unfavorable in terms of prognosis is necrosis of its anterior wall.
    • With transmural infarction (the entire thickness of the myocardium is affected), the symptomatic picture is most severe than with the intramural form (necrosis forms inside the myocardium). Necrotic damage often spreads to neighboring parts of the heart.
    • With a small focal lesion, the symptomatic picture is less pronounced. In 30% of cases, a large-focal one develops, and a wave-like intensification of pain indicates an expansion of the necrosis zone: the first 3-8 days – recurrent heart attack, after 28 days – repeated.
    • The most easily proceeding and prognostically favorable is a heart attack of the right ventricle.
    • Subepicardial (damage to the outer layer of the heart) is often accompanied by rupture of the damaged vessel, which leads to hemorrhage in the pericardial cavity and death.
    • heredity, that is, the presence of relatives suffering from early heart attacks;

    • tobacco smoking;
    • constant stress;
    • excess weight;
    • renal disease;
    • arterial hypertension;
    • alcohol abuse;
    • the presence of diabetes;
    • the presence of a large amount of cholesterol in the blood;
    • disturbances in the secretory function of the body.

    In women older than 60 years, due to natural changes in the body, cardiac and vascular pathologies begin to develop. At this age, it is important to constantly monitor the work of the cardiovascular system and try to adhere to a healthy lifestyle. The development of cardiac pathology at the age of 50 is most often associated with the onset of menopause and hormonal changes in the body: the estrogen barrier no longer protects blood vessels and, as a result There is a risk of developing the disease.

    At the age of 40, women still feel quite young and often do not pay enough attention to the health of their body: they are prone to frequent stresses and eat unbalanced foods. As a result, there is a significant risk of becoming a patient in a cardiological hospital. Women aged 30 are still strong and hardy, but they can suddenly be overtaken by a disease.

    How to prevent?

    • eliminate modifiable risk factors (bad habits, overweight, physical inactivity);
    • to correct with the help of therapy manifestations of concomitant diseases;
    • learn to overcome stressful situations constructively;
    • when the first precursors appear, do not postpone the visit to the doctor.

    Trying to “endure” pain is the path to a cardiovascular disaster. Nitroglycerin should be taken. If the pain persists, drink another pill at 5-minute intervals. If there is no effect, call an ambulance.

    Risk factors for heart attack in women

    • Sudden cardiac arrest

    Most often occurs with extensive transmural infarction (50% of cardiac ruptures due to early heart aneurysm occurs in the first 5 days), epicardial form and hemorrhage from a damaged artery. Death occurs swiftly, before the arrival of an ambulance.

    • Interventricular septal rupture

    Complicates the course of necrosis of the anterior wall of the myocardium, develops in the first 5 days. A serious condition requiring emergency surgery usually develops in women and elderly patients. The risk of rupture increases with high pressure, extrasystole.

    It can develop at any stage of myocardial infarction, more often with anterior wall necrosis. However, the greatest risk of its development in the first 10 days, especially with delayed thrombolytic therapy (effective in the first 3 days).

    Mental disorders often occur in the early days. The patient, completely denying his serious condition, exhibits exorbitant physical activity. In the absence of proper attention from relatives or medical staff, a relapse of necrosis may develop.

    The most common complication of myocardial infarction in the acute and acute period. Rhythm disturbances are observed in more than half of patients, while extrasystole is more often recorded. The danger is caused by group extrasystoles, early extraordinary ventricular contractions and atrial extrasystoles.

    Even with small focal infarction, severe rhythm disturbances can develop: atrial flutter, ventricular fibrillation, paroxysmal tachycardia. Uncupable atrial fibrillation with extensive lesion often leads to ventricular fibrillation and agonal state. With large focal necrosis, the risk of developing atrioventricular blockade and asystole is not ruled out, which leads to death.

    • Acute left ventricular failure

    More pronounced with rupture of the papillary muscle (usually occurs on the first day with a lower heart attack), which leads to insolvency of the mitral valve. High risk of early development of left ventricular failure, manifested by cardiac asthma.

    Signs of pulmonary edema: hard breathing and listening to disseminated wheezing, increasing shortness of breath, blueness of the extremities, coughing dry or with a slight sputum discharge, gallop rhythm – 3 tone appears when listening to the heart, as an echo of the second tone. Macrofocal necrosis and transmural infarction are usually manifested by mild symptoms of heart failure.

    A sharp decrease in pressure during left ventricular infarction leads to a decompensated hemodynamic disorder. Hypoxia and increasing acidosis lead to stagnation of blood in the capillaries and its intravascular coagulation. The patient has cyanosis of the skin, a weak rapid pulse, increasing muscle weakness and loss of consciousness.

    Shock can develop both in the acute period and in the acute stage under the additional action of antiarrhythmic drugs. A shock condition requires intensive care.

    • Acute right ventricular failure

    A rare complication that occurs with a right ventricular infarction. It is manifested by an increase and pain in the liver, swelling of the legs.

    It is formed during transmural focal infarction, manifests itself as pathological pulsation (the tone at the apex of the heart is strengthened or double), perisystolic murmur and weak pulse.

    At a later date in the process of recovery, the patient may develop the following disorders:

    • Late aneurysm – most often forms in the left ventricle, the scar protrudes after myocardial infarction;
    • Post-infarction syndrome – inflammation caused by autoimmune aggression, begins with the pericardium, then spreads to the pleura and lungs;
    • Parietal thromboendocarditis – often accompanies aneurysm, characterized by the formation of blood clots in the heart chambers, separation of which is fraught with thrombembolism of the pulmonary artery, brain vessels (ischemic stroke), kidneys (kidney infarction);
    • Postinfarction cardiosclerosis – excessive growth of connective tissue that forms a scar at the site of necrosis, is diagnosed at 2-4 months and is fraught with the development of atrial fibrillation and other rhythm disturbances;
    • Chronic heart failure – the severity of symptoms of cardiac asthma (shortness of breath, swelling, etc.) due to the scale of the necrotic process.

    Known factors that contribute to the development of myocardial infarction in women. They are associated with structural features of the body and lifestyle in girls and women. Among them:

    • heart structure: a female heart is on average slightly smaller than a male heart. The mass of the female heart is 200-300 g, the male – 270-380 g;
    • vascular structure: the lumen of arteries, including coronary, in women is much smaller. This contributes to increased blood flow pressure on the walls of blood vessels and more intense deposition of cholesterol;
    • increased formation of atherosclerotic plaques and their localization: as a rule, in women, atherosclerosis often affects small vessels;
    • a higher frequency of diseases that contribute to the occurrence of a heart attack, in particular diabetes mellitus;
    • higher prevalence of obesity.

    The absence of cardiac pain in a heart attack is especially common in patients with diabetes mellitus. In another group, you can combine risk factors for heart attack, which are relevant not only for women but also for men:

    • hereditary predisposition;
    • elevated blood lipids;
    • bad habits, in particular smoking;
    • sedentary lifestyle;
    • elevated homocysteine ​​levels;
    • excess weight;
    • high blood pressure;
    • psychosocial factors, stress resistance.

    Most often, a direct impetus for myocardial infarction becomes excessive nervous tension, stress, high physical exertion, fluctuations in atmospheric pressure, vascular (often hypertensive) crises, less often surgical intervention, hypothermia. What pressure can trigger a heart attack? Hazardous blood pressure values ​​are considered numbers above 140/90 mm Hg. Art.

    In almost 90% of cases, the cause of myocardial infarction is atherosclerosis, which causes clogging of the coronary arteries with fragments of atherosclerotic plaques. Such a process in the bloodstream causes the cessation of blood flow to the myocardium and the cells of the heart muscle die due to oxygen starvation.

    • coronary thrombosis;
    • heart injuries;
    • coronary artery spasm;
    • tumors.

    Predisposing factors are capable of contributing to the onset of a heart attack:

    • atherosclerosis;
    • arterial hypertension;
    • a history of myocardial infarction;
    • smoking;
    • obesity;
    • hypo- and adynamia;
    • diabetes;
    • elevated levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol);
    • frequent stressful situations;
    • disorders in the blood coagulation system;
    • excessive physical or emotional stress;
    • high-dose alcohol intake and chronic alcoholism;
    • postmenopausal age in women.

    How is it manifested in men?

    Up to 50 years of age, the frequency of heart attack in men is five times higher than that in women. It is manifested by a classic set of signs: chest pain, shortness of breath, hand discomfort. The causes of coronary blood supply are not different from those in women. Slight differences are due to a different hormonal background, features of response to stress, the prevalence of bad habits.

    Up to 50 years, the frequency of heart attack in men is five times higher than that in women.

    It manifests itself in a classic set of signs: chest pain, shortness of breath, discomfort in the hand.

    The causes of coronary blood flow disorders do not differ from those in women. Slight differences are due to a different hormonal background, features of response to stress, the prevalence of bad habits.

    Causes and predisposing factors

    What causes a heart attack? The narrowing of the lumen of the coronary arteries leads to a decrease in blood flow to any part of the muscle layer of the heart (myocardium), there is a weakening or complete cessation of blood supply to the heart muscle, coronary heart disease develops. An acute form of coronary heart disease occurring with the development of cardiac necrosis is called myocardial infarction.

    The main role in the development of a heart attack belongs to pathological processes in the coronary arteries of the heart: narrowing of their walls, vascular spasms, loss of elasticity, atherosclerotic changes. In most cases, the disease develops against the background of atherosclerosis. The appearance of atherosclerotic plaques and hemorrhage cause narrowing or complete closure of the lumen of the vessel, often this process is accompanied by the appearance of blood clots.

    A study of the dynamics of the incidence showed that the mortality rate from myocardial infarction among women was 9%, while among men it was only 4%. How old can a heart attack be? According to statistics, myocardial infarction in women at a young age is much less common than in men. This is due to the fact that estrogen produced in a woman’s body has a beneficial effect on vasodilation and the work of the muscle layer of the heart, and has an antioxidant, cardioprotective and anti-atherogenic effect.


    1. The course of the disease in women has features that can “mask” a heart attack and make diagnosis difficult.
    2. Pain in a heart attack in women is often localized in the upper abdomen, jaw, or absent.
    3. Frequent harbingers of the disease are unmotivated fatigue, insomnia, digestive disorders, sweating, swelling.
    4. Knowing and accounting for the causes and precursors of a heart attack can reduce the risk of a cardiovascular accident.
    5. The provision of first medical aid during the “golden hour” can improve the prognosis of the outcome of the disease.
    6. Correction of lifestyle, adherence to doctor’s prescriptions will help return to a full life.

    What can confuse a heart attack?

    Signs of the onset of an acute period

    The main symptom of an attack is a sudden chest pain that spreads throughout the upper left part of the body, covering the maxillofacial, occipital and shoulder regions. The pain can be both acute and aching in nature. In this case, taking Nitroglycerin is ineffective. An important symptom in this case is shortness of breath. The appearance of these two symptoms in a pair is a direct indication for an immediate visit to the doctor. The symptoms of an acute heart attack are as follows:

    • difficulty breathing;
    • abrupt sweating;
    • dizziness;
    • continuous feeling of nausea;
    • numbness of the left upper limb;
    • illegible speech;
    • feeling of panic fear.

    Speaking about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack in women, doctors distinguish between a typical course of the disease and an atypical form. If in the case of a typical condition of the patient, pathology is not difficult to diagnose, then with atypical manifestations there is a risk of untimely contacting the health authorities and late diagnosis. Among the atypical forms of the disease, there are such types:

    • asthmatic – it can be confused with bronchial asthma, because there are respiratory problems;
    • abdominal – the symptoms are similar to gastrointestinal diseases;

    arrhythmic – pain in this case is absent, but there is an increase in contractions of the heart muscle;

  • cerebral – it is easy to confuse with a stroke, since the symptoms are neurological in nature;
  • asymptomatic – typical for patients with diabetes mellitus, the patient does not feel pain, but complains of excessive sweating, and there is also excessive irritability and nervousness.
  • In any case, all these symptoms indicate damage to the heart organ and require urgent hospitalization.

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    Tatyana Jakowenko

    Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

    For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

    He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.