The month of February has been called the month of hearts, but it is for more than just being the month when Valentine’s Day is celebrated. American Heart Month, observed for the entire month of February, serves as a way to spread awareness regarding heart diseases and its prevention among Americans. Congress paved the way for this celebration in 1963, when it required the President to proclaim February as “American Heart Month”.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention features information on cardiovascular diseases on its website, reiterating how heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans. Information regarding the differences in heart attack symptoms in men and women is provided by Dr. James Beckerman, an invasive cardiologist practicing in Portland, Oregon, in a feature on WebMD.
While most people think that they are already familiar with the generic symptoms that are indicative of a heart attack, including chest discomfort and shortness of breath, doctors and patients are slowly finding out that there may be differences in the symptoms experienced by women versus men.
For instance, there was a study that revealed that half of women who experienced a heart attack did not feel any chest pain, a symptom that is very typical for a heart attack in men. Women may want to be wary of these symptoms which tend to appear before a heart attack and are deemed more common for women, according to Dr. Beckerman: unusual fatigue, difficulty in sleeping, shortness of breath, indigestion and anxiety.