When it comes to cardiac health, men's and women's hearts march to the beat of very different drummers. For starters, the male heart beats slower (72 beats a minute) than the female heart (80 beats a minute), and the male heart is larger (weighing an average of 10 ounces vs. 8 ounces.
Did you also know that the warning signs of a heart attack differ slightly in women and men?
Intense pressure or crushing pain in the chest that may extend into the arms, neck or back
Moderate chest pain, tightness, pressure or vague discomfort
Feeling faint, dizzy or weak
A feeling of severe indigestion that doesn't go away after taking an antacid
A feeling of impending doom—that something terrible is going to happen
While these symptoms aren't always caused by heart trouble, it's best to seek medical care right away. Waiting to see if the pain clears up could mean the difference between life and death.
Women's risk for heart disease increases with age. After menopause, when a women's body all but stops producing estrogen, her risk for heart disease begins to increase.
Reducing your heart disease risk
Despite the differences between men's and women's hearts, the sexes have one thing in common: Both can protect their hearts by controlling risk factors, including: