Although men tend to develop heart disease earlier in life, women's risk is almost the same as men after 65 year old, as they share many common risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain (angina) or discomfort, which usually lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. But women are somewhat more likely to experience other symptoms than man, such as:
Women who believe they are healthy often misread the symptoms of a heart attack because they do not think it would happen to them. So, recognise these symptoms of a heart attack and take charge of your heart health now!
Women are at a higher risk of stroke than men. This risk increases when they smoke or have any of the following conditions: pre-eclampsia during pregnancy
, migraines with aura and atrial fibrillation. Women also face higher stroke risk during pregnancy, when they consume birth control pills or use hormone replacement therapy.
There are two main types of stroke – Ischaemic and Haemorrhagic stroke. Ischaemic stroke occurs due to an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain, and it accounts for about 80% of all stroke cases in Singapore. Haemorrhagic stroke occurs when one or more blood vessels in the brain rupture.
Time is of the essence in stroke treatment – it is important to learn and recognise the symptoms of a stroke and respond quickly. A simple way to recognise stroke symptoms is to remember F.A.S.T.
If you have any of these signs, it is important to call 9-9-5 and get to a hospital right away. Do not hesitate to seek medical advice as every second counts.