JFK Medical Center North Campus
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Located in the heart of West Palm Beach, our 250-bed acute care facility has more than 30 years of experience in providing the highest quality of care to our community.

Exploring the Unique Heart Health Risks of Women

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States; however, women often underestimate their risk of having heart health problems and delay seeking treatment. Recognizing the signs and seeking medical treatment early is critical. Here are some of the facts you need to know about heart disease in women.

Women and men experience heart attacks differently.

The image most people have of a heart attack is a sudden-onset of crushing chest pain that makes someone double-over or collapse. That kind of heart attack is not the norm outside of movies for anyone, but for women, it is especially rare. Women who have heart attacks are more apt to complain about fatigue, nausea, achiness, and shortness of breath than they are of crippling chest pain. It’s important for women to educate themselves about these symptoms so they act quickly to get emergency care when they experience them.

Heart attack risk increases after menopause.

Doctors believe that estrogen may help to protect women’s hearts when they are younger, but after menopause, the risk of having a heart attack increases dramatically. Managing weight gain, continuing to be active, and eating a healthy diet that is low in added sugars and saturated fats can mitigate some of the risk. However, although the risk of heart attacks increases after menopause, younger women can and do experience them as well.

Putting yourself first can protect your heart.

Women frequently put their own health on the back burner as they juggle careers and family responsibilities. Stretching yourself too thin can compromise your ability to eat right and exercise, rob you of the sleep you need, and increase your stress, which can all increase your risk of heart disease. Making time to care for your own needs will protect your heart for life.

When you are experiencing a heart health emergency, visit the ER in West Palm Beach, FL at JFK Medical Center North Campus. For more information or a referral to a heart health specialist, please call (888) 256-7694.

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