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Heart Attack Symptoms: How They Differ for Men and Women

You’d be hard pressed to find a more serious health problem than heart disease. One of the most visible signs of advanced heart disease is a heart attack — something that can strike unexpectedly, and with deadly force. This is one of the reasons why it’s important for people to recognize the early signs of heart disease, and better yet, the symptoms of a heart attack.

Most people associate heart attacks with the most classic and over dramatic symptom of a heart attack, the one of someone clutching their chest before they fall to the ground. While chest pain is a very real symptom of heart attacks, there are many other symptoms, and many people probably don’t realize that these symptoms can present themselves differently depending on their gender! Quite simply, men and women should be on the lookout for unique warning signs if they suspect a heart attack. So, what are the factors that set men and women apart when it comes to a heart attack?

1. Age

The American Heart Association says that a man’s chance of suffering a heart attack increases dramatically once they reach their mid-forties. This means men are far more likely to experience a heart attack at an early age compared to women. In contrast, women are unlikely to suffer a heart attack before their mid-sixties.

Clearly, men are more at risk when they hit mid-life. In fact, Harvard researchers have found that a 50-year-old American man has a 50-percent chance of developing heart disease at some point during the remainder of his life. Other factors that put someone at a higher risk are a family history of heart disease, lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and obesity.

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