Let's get to the heart of the matter! You may already know that heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women, but there are major gender differences between the two when it comes to heart health.
Many heart attack victims describe the classic "elephant sitting on your chest" symptoms. But that doesn't always occur in women. Instead women may have jaw pain, stomach pain, unusual fatigue or shortness of breath. The problem is, these types of real symptoms aren't typically triggers for women to go and seek care.
With all the advances in the medical field, it's time to recognize that women and men need sex- and gender-appropriate healthcare. Focus is now being placed on educating clinicians and healthcare providers so they have a better understanding of the of the varying symptoms in heart health.
If you feel like you might be having heart issues, there are certain tests that you should make sure to ask for (even in the ER). For instance, a coronary angiogram is a procedure that uses X-ray imaging to see your heart's blood vessels and helps diagnose heart conditions.
Janine Austin Clayton, MD, is the Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health. In this segment, Dr. Clayton provides examples of how research has taught us how to treat women and men differently with respect to health management. She also shares how you can take care of yourself to avoid this deadly disease.