Millions of women have no idea that sweating is a symptom of a heart attack

Millions of women may be unaware that profuse sweating is a symptom of a heart attack, a poll has suggested.

Figures show around 180,000 people suffer a heart attack in the UK each year. Survival odds plummet without early treatment.

But the survey of 2,000 women found only 57 per cent know sweating is one of many symptoms of a heart attack.

Millions of women may be unaware that profuse sweating is a symptom of a heart attack, a poll has suggested

Millions of women may be unaware that profuse sweating is a symptom of a heart attack, a poll has suggested

And just 59 and 64 per cent knew feeling light-headed or sick were also signs of a myocardial infarction – the medical term for a heart attack.

Dr Sarah Brewer, medical director at Healthspan, which commissioned the research, said: ‘There is a huge misconception among women that they aren’t at risk.

‘Not only is this wrong, but it could be the difference between life and death for some if they don’t take symptoms or the risk of a heart attack seriously.’

Chest pain is the most common sign of a heart attack. The NHS warns coughing, wheezing, being short of breath are all also symptoms.

Heart attacks are commonly caused by coronary heart disease, which can be brought on by smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The survey also revealed more than one in 10 women wrongly believe only men have to worry about heart complaints.

And around one in eight don’t believe women suffer from heart attacks, while one in four think they would experience different symptoms to men if they did.

The alarming poll comes after myth-busting research last month found women suffer the same heart attack symptoms as men.

Experts long believed women experience heart attacks in a different way – one of the reasons commonly given for doctors missing so many female attacks.

But the research, by Edinburgh University, found symptoms were in fact very similar – and said both sexes need to recognise and act on the warning signs.

Heart attacks are different to a cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body.

WHAT IS A HEART ATTACK 

Figures suggest there are 180,000 hospital visits because of heart attacks in the UK each year, while there are around 800,000 annually in the US.

A heart attack, known medically as a myocardial infarction, occurs when the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked.

Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, and feeling weak and anxious.

Heart attacks are commonly caused by coronary heart disease, which can be brought on by smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Treatment is usually medication to dissolve blots clots or surgery to remove the blockage.

Reduce your risk by not smoking, exercising regularly and drinking in moderation.

Heart attacks are different to a cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body, usually due to a problem with electrical signals in the organ.

Source: NHS Choices

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