Jessica Saunders, M.D., a cardiologist with Albany Associates in Cardiology, a member of St. Peter’s Health Partners Medical Associates, appeared on WTEN/News10 to discuss heart disease awareness. Dr. Saunders discussed how symptoms of heart disease and heart attack may present differently in women than in men.
From the story:
Women need to understand the risks of heart disease and understand symptoms are not limited to chest pain. They can also include symptoms typical of other ailments like indigestion, the flu, stress, or anxiety, said Dr. Jessica Saunders, a cardiologist at St. Peter’s Health Partners.
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Heart palpitations
- Nausea or vomiting
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen, or upper back
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins
COVID-19 has raised people’s stress levels over the past year and many symptoms of heart disease could also be a sign of anxiety or a panic attack. How can someone tell the difference? The only way to firmly diagnose symptoms like heart disease or anxiety is through a consultation with a doctor and/or an electrocardiogram, said Dr. Saunders.
“Women will often present with what we call atypical symptoms or symptoms that are not the classic textbook description of the crushing chest pain that comes on suddenly.” Symptoms like jaw, neck, arm, upper abdomen/back pain or discomfort “will tend to come on with physical activity or stress and will go away with rest,” she said.
Click here to watch WTEN’s report.