The first signs of myocardial infarction in women and men and first aid

  • sedentary lifestyle;
  • food with excess fat;
  • binge eating;
  • hypertension;
  • bad habits

MI is a very serious and dangerous disease. Due to myocardial ischemia and metabolic disorders, some of the myocardial contractile cells die, which are replaced by connective cells that are not able to contract. A scar forms on the heart, which leads to a deterioration in its work. According to the statistics of women, this pathology affects 2 times less than men.

Myocardial infarction occurs in women after 50 years. At a young age, female hormones (estrogens), which are able to dilate coronary vessels, reduce the risk of heart attack. The amount of these hormones in postmenopausal age decreases sharply, their protection ceases to act. Especially in this age period, the fairer sex needs to be alert.

You need to know the signs of a heart attack in a woman. They are divided into distant and near. The most formidable distant sign is IHD (coronary heart disease). A heart attack is a complication and consequence of this disease, the treatment of which cannot be neglected. With coronary heart disease, you must constantly be under the supervision of your doctor and follow his recommendations.

A fundamental factor in the development of acute myocardial infarction is atherosclerosis of blood vessels, especially coronary vessels, which provide blood flow to the heart.

Even at a young age, the cause of this pathology can be:

  1. Burdened by heredity, atherosclerosis in relatives.
  2. Impaired lipid metabolism, high cholesterol and a harmful fraction of low density lipoproteins.
  3. Dyslipoproteinemia.
  4. Obesity, excess nutrition of fatty and carbohydrate foods.
  5. Smoking and frequent use of alcohol and drugs.

In addition to atherosclerosis, arterial hypertension, hormonal or metabolic disorders increase the risk of heart attack. In women under 45 years of age, the cause of a heart attack can be estrogen deficiency as a result of an irregular menstrual cycle, lack of ovulation, with the onset of an early menopause or after taking medications that inhibit estrogen production.

The cause of coronary pathology can be:

  1. Vasospastic spasms of the coronary arteries.
  2. Anomalous structure of the vessels of the heart.
  3. Secondary fibrosis of coronary arteries of an infectious – allergic, toxic nature.
  4. Violation of blood coagulability when taking contraceptives or hormonal drugs.
  5. Heavy blood loss and severe dehydration contribute to blood thickening.
  6. Hypercoagulation leads to the formation of blood clots, thrombosis of the coronary vessels.
  7. The situation is aggravated by obesity at a young age.
  8. In rare cases, a coronary artery breakthrough (dissection) can provoke a heart attack during or after childbirth.

The exclusion of circumstances conducive to the development of coronary heart disease can lead to an increase in the life time of the elderly by five to six years, advanced – by two to three years.

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What is myocardial infarction?

Myocardial infarction is a form of coronary heart disease. The disease proceeds with the development of ischemic necrosis of the myocardial site, accompanied by complete or partial lack of blood supply. Over the past 20 years, mortality from this disease among men has increased by 60%. A heart attack during this time was very young.

Today a heart attack in a thirty-year-old person does not surprise anyone. Women before 50 years old had not been affected by this disease, although, having crossed this age line, the incidence in women was compared with the incidence in men. A person who has had a heart attack receives disability, and the death rate among all patients is about 10-12%.

Symptoms of myocardial infarction

Those people who have suffered a heart attack speak of him as a very serious and terrible attack. The main symptom of myocardial infarction is severe chest pain. The pain is so strong that the will of the patient is completely paralyzed. A person has the idea of ​​near death. The pain disturbs constantly, regardless of physical activity, often spreads to the shoulder and arm, to the neck, to the jaw. Again, the pain can be not only constant, but also intermittent.

As medical practice shows, in almost 25% of patients a heart attack occurs without special symptoms, otherwise called “silent ischemia” or “silent heart attack.” However, the absence of symptoms does not mean that the heart muscle is not damaged.

Very often, or rather in 95% of cases, the cause of myocardial infarction is coronary artery thrombosis in the area of ​​atherosclerotic plaque. As soon as the atherosclerotic plaque ruptures, its erosion (the formation of an ulcer on the surface of the plaque), or a crack in the inner lining of the vessel underneath, platelets and other blood cells stick to the site of damage. A “platelet plug” is formed.

Further, it becomes denser, grows in volume, in the end, completely blocks the lumen of the artery. This is called occlusion. The blocked artery fed oxygen to the cells of the heart muscle, and the supply of this oxygen is enough for about 10 seconds. After which, for another 30 minutes, the heart muscle remains viable.

Signs of myocardial infarction

– Frequent intermittent breathing

– Rapid irregular heartbeat

– Weak rapid pulse in the limbs

– Fainting (syncope) or loss of consciousness

Distinctive symptoms of preinfarction

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

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.

Why pathology develops

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.

Unlike men, women have a natural defense against this disease. The fact is that the female body produces a specific hormone – estrogen, which prevents the narrowing of blood vessels and thus reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.

If pathology develops, then this happens at an older age – closer to 60 years, when the period of menopause sets in and the amount of estrogen decreases sharply. If the disease overtook a woman at a younger age, then there were specific causes that played the role of a trigger.

Signs of extensive, acute and very close, imminent myocardial infarction in women and men

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.

Signs and symptoms of a brewing myocardial infarction manifest and become noticeable about a month before the disaster with the blood vessels of the heart. You can still avoid the tragedy if you turn to a cardiologist in time, undergo examination and treatment to strengthen the coronary vessels.

  • snoring and short stops in a dream. Such respiratory failure, snoring and apnea lead to a violation of the supply of oxygen to the heart, ischemia of the heart muscle;
  • prolonged, unexplained fatigue;
  • insomnia;
  • periodontal disease (soreness and bleeding gums) – insufficient peripheral blood supply, as a sign of cardiac pathology;
  • swelling of the lower extremities – delayed withdrawal of fluid, which indicates weak heart function;
  • pain in the left shoulder – a sign of angina pectoris;
  • shortness of breath, shortness of breath – heart failure;
  • headache accompanied by increased pressure;
  • frequent urination at night.

Myocardial necrosis is an irreversible process. Often in women, the initial signs of a pre-infarction condition are mild or resemble other diseases. The weaker sex is characterized by patience and a high pain threshold. Women often endure to the last, until irreversible damage to the coronary vessels occurs. Despite the assertion of statistics that a heart attack in men occurs more often than in women, in women it often ends in death.

The most dangerous time for people with pathologies of the cardiovascular system is the off-season. Restructuring of the body and lack of nutrients is especially reflected in people exposed. We recommend mixing cocktails: walnuts, dried apricots, honey (1: 1: 1 ratio), mix and dilute with hot water to strengthen the heart muscle. Drink 3-4 times a day.

If possible, measure pressure. At low pressure, you can not drink nitroglycerin, this can aggravate the condition of the patient. Under normal pressure, give a tablet of nitroglycerin. Valocordin and validol do not help with acute stenosis. Trying to relieve pain with a warm heating pad is pointless. Offer the patient to do breathing exercises: breathe shallowly, take small breaths and exhalations with the nose to saturate the organs with oxygen and equalize the pulse.

Some women are infinitely patient and refuse to call a doctor, but sometimes such a delay can cost a life. In time to stop a heart attack and avoid serious, and sometimes sad, consequences can only doctors. Call for emergency care without waiting for the critical condition of the woman. Not a single person has yet been able to suffer a heart attack on his legs.

In recent years, a heart attack, like many other diseases, has become younger. However, the risk of heart attack is most likely in the pre-retirement and retirement age. Vascular diseases are aggravated with age due to clogging of the body with toxins and toxins, blood vessels lose their elasticity, blood channels narrow blood clots and fatty deposits on their walls.

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Young women are not immune from a heart attack, if there is a hereditary predisposition, overwork and stress, and chronic vascular disease. A risk factor for women aged 18-30 is the long-term use of oral contraceptives, which provoke vascular diseases.

Women 30-45 years old. For this age, factors provoking heart attacks: stress, smoking, constant tension. At this active age, a woman has to combine work, parenting, take care of her family and care for her elderly parents.

Women 45-60 years old are the age group with the highest risk of heart attack. Acquired chronic diseases with age, a decrease in the female hormone estrogen in the blood increases an attack.

Women aged 60 and over are mindful of their health. They control blood pressure, more often take a blood test to control sugar, visit doctors. And thanks to this, statistics show a decrease in the percentage of heart attack in women after 60.

  • First of all, it is worth saying that myocardial infarction is a process of necrosis of a certain part of the heart muscle (myocardium) as a result of limitation or termination of its blood supply.
  • Most often, a disease of this kind affects elderly people. However, modern statistics indicate that myocardial infarction is significantly younger – cases of the manifestation of this disease in people after 30, and sometimes up to 30 years, have become more frequent.
  • Symptoms of myocardial infarction in people after 50 years will directly depend on the severity of the disease.
  • It is also worth noting that the signs of a heart attack at its various stages differ significantly.

Cardiologists call 5 stages of myocardial infarction:

  1. Preinfarction (breakthrough of an atherosclerotic plaque, the formation of a blood clot, blockage of the coronary artery) – lasts from a couple of days to several weeks and does not appear in all cases.
  2. Acute (a zone of myocardial necrosis is formed) – lasts from 20 minutes to 4 hours and is characterized by ischemia.
  3. Acute (melting of the tissues of the heart muscle as a result of enzymes) – lasts from 2 days to 2 weeks.
  4. Subacute (scarring of myocardial infarction tissue) – has a duration of 4-8 weeks.
  5. Postinfarction (characterized by complete scarring of the affected area of ​​the muscle and myocardial addiction to the scar).

In the pre-infarction period, patients may experience the following symptoms:

  1. Arbitrary, repeated pain in the heart, lasting at least 15 minutes and arising, both as a result of physical exertion, and in a state of complete rest.
  2. Tachycardia.
  3. Feeling of lack of air.
  4. The arrival of cold sweat.
  5. The lack of effect after taking nitroglycerin or the need to increase its dose.

The acute stage of myocardial infarction is characterized by the presence of the following symptoms:

  1. Acute, cutting, piercing pain in the region of the heart and behind the sternum, often extending to the left arm, shoulder blade, part of the neck and jaw with a duration of at least half an hour.
  2. Panic attacks in the form of a terrifying fear of death and its inevitability.
  3. Powerlessness and weakness.
  4. Pale skin.
  5. Rapid, intermittent breathing.
  6. Rapid, irregular heartbeat.
  7. The arrival of cold sweat.
  8. Nausea, vomiting.
  9. Sudden jumps in blood pressure.
  10. Blue lips and skin.
  11. Occasionally, body temperature rises to 38 degrees.

The acute stage of myocardial infarction is manifested by the following symptoms:

  1. The abatement or complete disappearance of pain in the heart.
  2. Prolonged chills (about a week).
  3. Dizziness and dark circles before the eyes.
  4. Dyspnea.
  5. Bluish tint of nails and nasolabial triangle.
  6. High blood pressure.
  7. The presence of a high level of white blood cells in the blood.
  8. High ESR.

Symptoms of the subacute stage of myocardial infarction are characterized by the abatement of all abnormal signs of the disease and the gradual stabilization of the patient’s condition.

In the post-infarction stage, absolutely all symptoms disappear, and the tests return to normal.

The primary symptoms of myocardial infarction in people after 40 years are:

  • Strong, compressive, stitching pains in the heart, chest, behind the sternum.
  • Pain can be given to the left (sometimes right) shoulder, neck, collarbone, jaw.
  • The appearance of animal fear of death.
  • Panic and lack of control of the patient.
  • Cold, sticky sweat comes in.
  • Rapid pulse.
  • Pale or gray skin of the face.
  • Lack of air, choking.
  • Arrhythmia of the heart.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and fever (in rare cases).
  • Oddly enough, but at this age myocardial infarction can happen.
  • Young people and their families often discard or even prevent the idea that disturbing symptoms are signs of this particular disease.
  • At such a young age, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea can join the symptoms already given in the article above.
  • For the rest, the clinical picture remains the same, both for patients aged 40-50, and for young people under 40.
  • The difficulty in diagnosing myocardial infarction in the elderly is easily explained by the presence of a number of age-related diseases and conditions that have similar symptoms.
  • It is because of this that the pre-infarction stage of the disease in elderly people often passes almost imperceptibly.
  • Tachycardia, tingling in the chest, jumps in blood pressure and fear of death, characteristic of myocardial infarction, are common in most old people.
  • It is especially difficult to surprise women with menopause with such symptoms – cold sweat, heart palpitations and constant fears are not outlandish for them.
  • Depending on how large a section of the heart muscle affects a heart attack, it is classified into small focal and extensive.
  • Extensive heart attack is a more complex and dangerous form of cardiac muscle necrosis.
  • Its symptoms are often no different from the symptoms of small focal infarction.
  • There were cases when patients did not feel any discomfort at all, even with extensive heart attack.
  • Small focal and microinfarction can make themselves felt with obvious signs characteristic of extensive and acute necrosis of the heart muscle.
  • However, sometimes these types of heart attack do not manifest themselves at all – a person can only feel weakness, body aches, tingling in the chest and fever.
  • Such symptoms are very easy to confuse with signs of a common SARS or a cold.
  • In order to exclude myocardial infarction, it is necessary to take nitroglycerin or another drug that lowers blood pressure and relieves vascular spasm.
  • If, after taking this medication, relief does not come, then it is imperative to call the ambulance.
  • If you take measures in time for myocardial infarction, you can prevent a number of consequences.

Signs of myocardial infarction – what to do: first aid

If near symptoms occur, then delay in calling an ambulance is impossible. Especially with chest pain and shortness of breath in the aggregate. For a short time, a heart attack can occur – necrosis of myocardial cells and how extensive it will be depends on the speed of care.

  • pain in the left side of the chest, extending to the shoulder, behind the sternum, in the upper abdomen (feeling of heaviness, tingling, burning sensation). It lasts several hours intermittently, does not pass after taking nitroglycerin. The pain can occur in different parts of the body: the left arm, elbow, shoulder blade, appear in the back of the head, in the jaw area with toothache;
  • unsteady gait, dark circles under the eyes;
  • pressure reduction is relatively normal for a particular woman;
  • shortness of breath with little physical exertion;
  • increased sweating (cold sweat), skin sticky and cool to the touch;
  • numbness and tingling in the fingers, extending to the elbow and forearm;
  • dizziness and nausea;
  • impaired coordination and slurred speech,
  • a condition similar to intoxication, which indicates acute myocardial ischemia;
  • anxiety, fear of death, panic due to poor oxygen supply to the brain.

Sometimes the symptoms of a heart attack in women can resemble other diseases:

  • shortness of breath, signs of asthmatic bronchospasm, pulmonary edema;
  • abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and weakness – symptoms similar to an attack of pancreatitis;
  • dizziness and headaches, blurred vision, impaired consciousness and neurosis are neurological symptoms.

The main feature of a heart attack at a young age is an acute onset against the background of complete well-being, the absence of precursors of cardiac pathology. Most patients do not have a history of ischemic heart pain, or they report some deterioration in well-being within one or two weeks.

  • unreasonable weakness, after rest and at rest;
  • marked deterioration during the day, hours;
  • dizziness, trembling hands, weak legs and sweating;
  • aching pains in the stomach and in the epigastric region;
  • indigestion, abdominal discomfort;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • an asthmatic attack of bronchospasm;
  • a combination of weakness, shortness of breath and increasing anxiety, even at rest;
  • the appearance of pain in the left half of the abdomen with radiation to the back or interscapular space;
  • feeling of compression or numbness of the neck and chest on the left, discomfort or tingling of the left hand;
  • numbness, cooling and pain in the chin and jaw on the left, toothache;
  • headache, blurred vision, lack of inhaled air, a condition close to fainting.

Given the atypical manifestation of a heart attack at a young age, many patients do not seek medical help and attempt treatment on their own, believing that the cause of the deterioration was a cold, an upset gastrointestinal tract, or flu. This in turn increases the risk of late detection.

At an older age, a more typical manifestation of a heart attack is characteristic. The main signs of a heart attack in women older than 50 years:

  • acute pain in the heart, in the chest or behind the sternum is the first sign of an attack in older women;
  • pain can be felt in the left half of the trunk, neck and chest, lower back and back;
  • possible irradiation of pain between the shoulder blades or in the area of ​​the face or behind the ear;
  • sudden increase in shortness of breath and a feeling of lack of oxygen in the inhaled air;
  • against the background of instability of blood pressure, weakness develops;
  • dizziness, blurred thoughts, blurred vision;
  • weakness in the legs and arms, a condition similar to fainting;
  • there may be an upset gastrointestinal tract, stomach pain, discomfort;
  • fear and panic intensifies as pain rises.

An electrocardiogram of the heart allows not only to diagnose the presence of myocardial infarction, but also to identify its location and the depth of damage to the heart muscle.

Using an ECG, three areas of damage to the heart muscle can be determined:

  1. Necrosis site – on the cardiogram is characterized by violations of the QRS complex, in which a pathological Q wave very often appears.
  2. The damage site (localized around the necrosis site) – is manifested by a shift of the ST segment.
  3. The site of ischemia (a zone on the border with a healthy area of ​​the heart muscle) – corresponds to changes in the amplitude and polarity of tooth T.

Given the depth of damage to the heart muscle, the following types of myocardial infarction can be detected on an ECG:

  • Transmural infarction – characterized by the loss of the R wave from the QRS complex, thereby forming the QS complex.
  • Subpericardial infarction – characterized by the preservation of the QRS complex, metamorphosis of the T wave and depression of the S-T segment.
  • Intramural infarction – manifested by metamorphosis of the QRS complex, rise and intercourse of the ST segment with a positive T wave.
  • Sometimes it happens that a person either does not feel anything special during a myocardial infarction, or writes off the experienced sensations to other conditions and diseases.
  • In such cases, we have to talk about a heart attack, carried “on their feet.”
  • The consequences of this condition may not appear at all – the patient can only learn about an experienced heart attack by accident on an ECG.

But not all myocardial necrosis passes so without a trace – in some cases, diseases and conditions that are a consequence of a heart attack can develop:

  • A sharp drop in blood pressure.
  • Pulmonary edema due to acute heart failure.
  • Separation of a blood clot.
  • Violation of the integrity of the wall of the heart (in common people, “heart break”).
  • Interruptions in ripple.
  • Cardiogenic shock (shortness of breath, a sharp decline in blood pressure, cyanosis of the nasolabial triangle and nails).
  • Heart failure.
  • Cardiosclerosis.
  • Arrhythmia.
  • Manifestations of embolism, aneurysm, thrombosis.
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All of these conditions, which are the result of myocardial infarction, indicate only that you should not ignore even the most illusive symptoms of this disease, but immediately seek help from specialists.

At the first sign of myocardial infarction, you must call an ambulance. While the ambulance gets to its destination, you can take a number of measures:

  • Lay the patient on the floor so that the head is slightly higher than body level.
  • If the patient has shortness of breath, it is necessary to plant him in such a way that his legs are in an elevated position, and give a tablet of Nitroglycerin.
  • If the patient has pale skin, a weak heartbeat and low blood pressure, then it is advisable to arrange it so that the head is in a low position – in this case, it is better not to give Nitroglycerin.
  • If the patient does not have allergies, it is advisable to give him to chew Aspirin (300 g – half a tablet) in order to calm the chest pain.
  • To reassure a person, he can be given Valerianka, Valocordin or motherwort.
  • A tablet of Analgin or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug will also help get rid of severe pain.

If the patient’s heart has stopped, he is unconscious, and the pulse is practically not felt, then it is advisable to take the following measures:

  • In order to defibrillate the ventricles of the heart, you can try to deliver the patient one exact, strong blow to the region of the heart.
  • Then it is advisable to start doing an indirect heart massage, alternately pressing on the chest with open hands (15 times) and making 2 breaths and 2 exhalations into his mouth, while covering his nose.

If the patient does not recover, heart massage and artificial respiration must be continued until the arrival of an ambulance.

Dear readers, we draw your attention to the fact that myocardial infarction is one of the most dangerous and common diseases today. Millions of people die from it every year, regardless of age and social status. Therefore, do not ignore the alarming symptoms, but urgently consult a doctor with them. Precious minutes can save your or someone else’s life!

The signs of a heart attack in men usually have a pronounced form, sometimes they can be confused with some symptoms of other serious diseases, however, in most cases, their combined manifestation indicates precisely acute heart failure, the appearance of which can be triggered by various factors.

The main causes of heart attack in men include: atherosclerosis, surgical obstruction of the arteries, congenital heart defects, coronary artery spasms, thrombosis, arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus.

The clinical picture of a heart attack largely depends on the stage of its development. The first signs of a heart attack in men usually appear even at the stage of a pre-infarction state, in most cases they are expressed:

  • the appearance of a prolonged feeling of depression, anxiety and anxiety;
  • exacerbation of angina attacks (acute pain behind the sternum);
  • the appearance of tachycardia (heart palpitations up to 90 or more beats per minute).

Sometimes the stage of the preinfarction state is absent and then the heart attack develops rapidly, immediately from the acute period. In such cases, the following symptoms of a heart attack in men may appear:

  1. Intense and prolonged pain in the heart. Usually with a heart attack, the pain occurs suddenly and lasts at least half an hour. A prolonged manifestation of such painful sensations indicates an increase in the pathological process in the heart muscle. Doctors note that these pains are quite persistent, as a rule, they do not go away even after taking nitroglycerin, but can weaken slightly or take another form (they become burning, pressing, compressing, dull, etc.). Despite the fact that usually pain with a progressive heart attack manifests itself mainly in the left part of the sternum, it is also capable of changing the location, covering the lower jaw, neck, left shoulder (arm), as well as the interscapular region.
  2. Blood pressure jumps. Most often, with a heart attack, the pressure first rises, and then drops sharply, dropping below the 90/60 border. Such jumps in blood pressure are usually accompanied by dizziness, weakness, fainting, and nausea and vomiting.
  3. A sharp increase in temperature. Usually this happens a few hours later (near the end of the first day) after the appearance of persistent heart pain as a result of general poisoning of the orgasm by necrotic masses that have fallen into the blood. An increase in temperature in such cases is often accompanied by pallor of the skin and the appearance of a cold or warm sticky sweat.
  4. An asthmatic symptom of a heart attack in the form of asthma attacks. Such attacks are characterized by a lack of air, difficult and intermittent breathing, bubbling and chest pain.
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First signs

Signs, Symptoms, and Early Precursors

  • rapid breathing and palpitations;
  • heavy sweating;
  • pallor and weakness;
  • the pulse is weak and rapid;
  • nausea;
  • fainting.

First signs

In addition to the listed symptoms, the first symptoms of a heart attack in women are observed, such as shortness of breath and shortness of breath. Also, most women in a pre-infarction state experience discomfort in the chest, pain in the heart area, which gives in one or both hands. Nausea or vomiting may occur. Another symptom is the occurrence of sticky cold sweat.

If these signs are detected, appropriate diagnosis and treatment should be carried out immediately, otherwise a heart attack will occur.

Often there are cases when a person feels quite well, but suddenly there is a prolonged attack of pain. Not everyone is able to understand that this is precisely a pathology of the heart. Therefore, it is important to know the following features of the pain accompanying myocardial infarction:

  • a heart attack lasts longer than 15 minutes;
  • if you take the drug “Nitroglycerin”, then the pain will not go away, but it may weaken;
  • spreads to the left arm, neck, shoulder blade and lower jaw;
  • the main pain zone is in the left half of the sternum or behind the chest;
  • in most cases intense, however, it is wavy;
  • characterized by strong pressure and contraction in the chest area.

Along with these features, general signs of a heart attack in women are also manifested. Symptoms that were found before the disease are complemented by a marbled skin color, blue legs and lips, and dizziness.

The causes of myocardial infarction have long been known to medicine. The most common is atherosclerosis of blood vessels. Coronary vessels are used to transfer oxygen and nutrients to the muscle cells of the heart. During an attack, a blood clot forms in one of these vessels, and then the heart stops functioning after 10 seconds.

The cause of a heart attack may be obstruction due to surgery. Also, the disease has the potential to develop due to embolization of the cardiac arteries or spasm of the coronary vessels.

There are still some factors that may result in myocardial infarction. Symptoms in women older than 50 years or with diabetes mellitus occur more often. Alcohol abuse and smoking also increase the possibility of a heart attack. It is necessary to monitor the level of cholesterol in the blood: if there is a lot of it, then symptoms of a heart attack in women may appear soon. The reasons and treatment are determined by the doctor.

Non-standard forms of heart disease can occur in women:

  1. Asthmatic. Symptoms of this form are lack of oxygen and shortness of breath, characteristic of bronchial asthma. In a severe case, pulmonary edema begins.
  2. Gastralgic. The disease is accompanied by abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Often, women take this heart attack for food poisoning.
  3. Cerebrovascular. Disorders of the nervous system lead to the development of a disease of this form. Dizziness occurs, loss of consciousness or paralysis may occur. In the advanced case, a stroke is recorded.
  4. Arrhythmic. It is characterized by a violation of the heart rhythm. The most dangerous are atrioventricular blockades, in which the heart rate is critically reduced.
  5. Painless. The most insidious form, because the symptoms of a heart attack in women do not appear. Complications are already noticed that put a person’s life at risk.

The consequences of a heart attack

Pathology of the heart affects the work of the whole organism. Due to a violation of the blood supply to the heart muscle, necrosis of its individual sections occurs, this complication appears in most cases.

In addition, heart failure may occur. Its acute form is characterized by frequent breathing and asthma attacks. The skin becomes pale, foamy sputum forms, which serves as a sure sign of pulmonary edema. Often there is tachycardia, high blood pressure, motor anxiety and nausea.

Two weeks after the attack, an aneurysm of the heart appears. Her symptoms are shortness of breath, fever, weakness.

Pericarditis (inflammation of the pericardial sac) may also develop. It manifests itself in the form of fever and pain behind the sternum, accompanied by dry cough and shortness of breath, sometimes vomiting.

Another consequence of the disease can be post-infarction syndrome. In this case, pericarditis, pneumonia, polyarthritis and pleurisy develop.

The main thing is to recognize the signs of a heart attack on time and call an ambulance, then there may be less unpleasant consequences.

First aid

The first thing that cannot be postponed is an ambulance call. The faster the doctors arrive, the more likely there will be a woman to survive and continue to live as a full-fledged person.

After the ambulance is called, you should put the patient on a flat surface so that the upper body is slightly elevated. It is important to remember that a person must not stand or sit during a heart attack. Then you need to make sure that the woman returns to normal breathing: unfasten the collar and belt, ventilate the room.

Next, you need to give the victim one tablet of the drug “Aspirin” and “Nitroglycerin”. Repeat after half an hour if the ambulance has not arrived. To reduce a panic attack, a sedative, such as Corvalol, should be given. To reduce pain, you can give the victim “Analgin”.

You should always be near the victim and monitor her pressure, breathing and heart function. If a woman has a cardiac arrest, it is necessary to immediately carry out a number of resuscitation measures:

  • Indirect cardiac massage
  • in the first seconds of stop, hit hard in the chest area;
  • to make ventilation of the lungs by mouth-to-nose or mouth-to-mouth methods.


The rehabilitation program is individually for each person, however, there are general principles:

  1. Supportive pharmacological treatment. Doctors prescribe “Aspirin” or “Ticlopidine” to prevent blood clots. Beta blockers are prescribed to adjust heart rate and blood pressure.
  2. Diet. Women who have had a heart attack are recommended to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, as well as reduce the intake of fatty foods and those that contain a lot of cholesterol. Have to give up coffee, cream, spices and a lot of salt.
  3. Physical activity. The general condition of the victim is taken into account. Properly selected exercises will guarantee a normal level of oxygen in the blood.
  4. Absolute rejection of bad habits.
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To avoid the development of heart pathology, one should start taking measures at a young age. The primary and secondary type of prevention is:

  • to give up smoking;
  • physical activity;
  • rare alcohol consumption;
  • proper nutrition;
  • observation of cholesterol and blood sugar;
  • the use of “Aspirin” or “Heparin” drugs with increased risk.

Men are at greater risk for heart disease, and the symptoms of a heart attack in women are different. This is due to the fact that the female heart is much smaller than the male. In addition, it beats faster. The number of beats of a female heart per minute differs from that of a male by 15-20 times. Another reason for the difference in symptoms is the production of the sex hormone estrogen in the female body, which provides coronary vessels with additional protection.

Diagnosis of the condition: how to determine the pathology in time?

To detect a heart attack, you must follow the protocol. First of all, the doctor conducts electrocardiography (ECG) to determine the characteristic signs of a heart attack, deviations of the teeth on the cardiogram. For confirmation, a rapid troponin test can be used, which determines the markers of a heart attack – troponins, as well as ultrasound of the heart by a drop of blood. It is recommended to determine serum enzymes – creatine phosphokinase, lactate dehydrogenase, myoglobin, troponin I.

  1. General clinical and biochemical blood test.
  2. The lipid spectrum of the blood is determined.
  3. Blood coagulation test.

When the first characteristic signs of an attack appear, an ambulance should be called immediately. It is extremely important to start treatment within 15 to 60 minutes after the symptoms of myocardial infarction in a woman have appeared. The outcome and prognosis of recovery depend on the speed of contacting a doctor and the start of medical care.

  1. At the prehospital stage, the ambulance team, taking into account the first signs of a heart attack in a woman and ECG or test data, catheters the vein and provides an oxygen mask.
  2. Delivers the patient to a cardiology hospital.
  3. The hospital is considering stenting, angioplasty or bypass surgery.

How to treat a heart attack in the elderly

Often emergency measures for a heart attack are taken by the patients themselves or their relatives. It is important to know that at the first signs of angina pectoris, a harbinger of a heart attack, an elderly patient needs nitroglycerin in tablets. If the pain persists within five minutes, the administration of nitroglycerin is repeated. If repeated administration of the drug did not give an effect, then the tablet is placed under the tongue for the third time. If the pain does not release, it is necessary to call an ambulance, and before it arrives, take crushed aspirin.

Heart attack in the elderly requires immediate hospitalization. At first, intensive emergency measures are carried out with the patient, he is limited in movement for at least a day. The patient is prescribed a diet that excludes salty and fatty foods. Therapy of a heart attack proceeds with the appointment of painkillers and antithrombotic drugs.

The rehabilitation of an elderly patient who has survived myocardial infarction proceeds under the supervision of medical personnel and consists in spa or sanatorium treatment with courses of physiotherapy exercises, therapy of arterial hypertension and weight loss. Animal fats and foods with high cholesterol are excluded from the diet. It is extremely important to completely abandon bad habits, first of all, from smoking.

Fast first aid, effective cardiac rehabilitation and strict adherence to the patient’s doctor’s recommendations are the key to successful recovery after a heart attack.

Read related material: Hemoglobin in the elderly: recommendations to help keep it normal

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.

The consequences of a heart attack in the elderly and complications

Undoubtedly, as a result of a heart attack, there are consequences that are divided into acute (early) and distant (late). The former are characterized by:

acute heart failure;

Minor necrosis of the heart muscle causes fewer complications. Due to the fact that for the most part the left ventricle is affected, left ventricular failure progresses. It is characterized by a patient’s labored breathing, which forces a person to sit down with an inclination forward to ease discomfort. Such insufficiency is dangerous with the possible development of pulmonary edema.

As a result of a heart attack, a fragmented and uncoordinated contraction of the ventricles (fibrillation), atrial fibrillation and disturbance of intracardiac conduction (blockade of the bundle of His bundle) may begin. In such cases, emergency medical attention is needed. If a heart attack struck the area under the inner wall of the heart (endocardium), then in a large circle of blood circulation, thrombosis is likely to form. Separation of a blood clot and its penetration into the bloodstream of the brain is fraught with thromboembolism and subsequent stroke.

Statistics say that the female heart is less likely to have heart attacks, but in adulthood, the risks of acute ischemia in women increase significantly.

Anomalies caused by a heart attack are ischemic, electrical, mechanical, etc., but they can all lead to the following:

Clear symptoms of heart failure, leading to cardiogenic shock. Shock is caused by a significant violation of blood circulation, vasodilation and oxygen starvation of tissues and the brain. Symptoms are loss of consciousness, palpitations, severe weakness and darkening in the eyes.

Mitral valve dysfunctions in mild and moderate forms are often the result of a heart attack in women. If the papillary (papillary) muscles are affected, then surgical intervention is required as soon as possible.

Heart rupture is an extremely dangerous pathology that takes about 3% of lives. Such a development of events, alas, is characteristic of women whose heart, by virtue of their physiology, is less resistant to complications after a heart attack.

Post-infarction syndrome (Dressler) is an autoimmune lesion of the connective tissue of the heart that does not affect its muscular structure. Pulmonitis, pleurisy and pericarditis are characteristic of it. In this case, emergency treatment is extremely important to avoid more dangerous infectious complications.

Acute blockage of a blood vessel by a thrombus (thromboembolism) as a consequence of a heart attack in women occurs more often than in men. After blockage, tissue ischemia usually develops. An extremely dangerous consequence may be the separation of a blood clot. To prevent the risk of separation, timely prevention is necessary.

A heart attack in the elderly and the above complications are extremely dangerous, therefore, their identification at an early stage will help to start effective treatment as soon as possible or to establish the need for surgical intervention.

Read Related Material: Medications for the Elderly: 13 Medication Tips


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.

Throughout life, a lot of factors adversely affecting the female body and CCC. Try to avoid or at least reduce their negative impact.

  1. Improper nutrition. Cholesterol and toxins contained in some foods adversely affect the state of blood vessels. Cholesterol plaques and fat deposits on the walls of blood vessels, reduce the patency of the blood ducts, clog them, which leads to oxygen starvation of human organs and systems.

Harmful: fried fatty foods, spicy, salty, fast food, sweets.

Useful: the use of fiber of plant origin.

  1. Bad ecology. Chronic intoxication of large cities negatively affects the immunity of women and negatively affects the cardiovascular system.
  2. Stress. Women’s health is undermined by constant stress and the need to live in tension and multitasking, excessive emotionality.
  3. Inadequate physical activity, overweight. It is necessary to play sports, to be responsible for your health.

And a few more tips:

  • Observe a sense of proportion throughout. Everything that is “too” harmful to the heart.
  • Try to avoid overeating, stress, insomnia, excessive physical exertion.
  • Monitor your blood pressure.
  • Watch your weight, trying to adhere to the norm.
  • Alternate healthy physical activity and good rest.

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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.