Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in women, yet many women aren’t familiar with possible symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD) that should be brought to their primary care physician’s attention.
Heart disease is caused by atherosclerosis, or plaque-clogged arteries that restrict blood flow to the heart. From a biological standpoint, that’s no different in men than it is in women.
However, there are differences in the way women’s blood vessels respond to the atherosclerosis, which can cause some women to present with atypical symptoms of heart disease. While we commonly hear about heart disease causing chest pressure or tightness and shortness of breath, some women may instead experience atypical symptoms such as back pain, rapid heartbeat, nausea or fatigue.
In this video, Leslie Cho, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Women’s Cardiovascular Center, explains: