Dr. Seibel's Health Tips / Health and Fitness

Silent Heart Attacks in Women

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Today, I want to talk to you about something I discuss with my menopausal patients routinely and that you may not be aware of. As a woman, you are more at risk of dying of a heart attack than your male counterpart.

Can you imagine? Most people think that heart disease is the picture of the guy with pain in his left arm or his right arm and crushing chest pain; but women account for 52% of the 80 million Americans that have heart disease. Of the 860,000 people who die from heart disease and heart attack, 52% are women. Women account for more than half of all the above conditions.

Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms of heart attack, in women. First of all, they’re so general, so non-specific, which itself is the problem. The symptoms may be pain in the neck, pain in the jaw or the angle of the jaw; it may also be an upper abdominal pain. It may just be lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting or it could be something called malaise, just a general feeling of discomfort; you just don’t feel good.

These symptoms are so non-specific. It could be the flu, it could be almost anything; but remember, one of the possibilities: it could be a heart attack, and that’s why it’s important to call 911 if you start to have any cluster of these symptoms.

Men, on the other hand, are much more likely to have that crushing chest pain I talked about; pain that radiates down their arm; mostly the left but it could also be the right arm. They could be having a sense of doom, cold sweats, and shortness of breath. Those symptoms are much more common with men, although they could occur in women; whereas, women are more likely to have pain in the angle of the jaw, in the neck, or in the upper abdomen, or a sense of nausea. They may have lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting, or this general feeling of discomfort.

If you are a woman -particularly if you are a woman in your 50s or in menopause “and you start to have those symptoms, don’t be afraid to call 911; it could save your life!

That’s one of the reasons you will find more information on heart disease and tips on other medical emergencies that could save your life in the book, Save Your Life: What To Do in a Medical Emergency, -available in Amazon and online stores “that I co-write with Shelly Glazier.

I hope this has been helpful to you. Check out the book. Remember these symptoms, and remember: it’s better to stay well that to get well.


Theses are some of the types of topics covered each month in My Menopause Magazine, the first magazine in the Apple newsstand dedicated to providing information, insights and inspiration to women in and around menopause. The app is free as is the first issue. Use BONUScode and get the current issue free as well.

Dr. Mache Seibel, Founder of My Menopause Magazine http://bit.ly/MyMenoMag

Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Founder My Menopause Magazine




(617) 916-1880

PS: Find more information of this type in My Menopause Magazine, available for the iPad in the Apple Newsstand. http://bit.ly/MyMenoMag



“It’s better to stay well than to get well!”  Mache Seibel, MD.

Dr. Machelle (Mache) Seibel is America’s health expert, addressing the critical needs of consumers from stress and weight control to menopause and beyond. He served on the Harvard Medical School faculty for almost 20 years and is a pioneer in many areas of women’s health and more. He works with companies and organizations to bring exciting educational content to consumers. His professional experiences include:

– Host for PBS and NBC TV episodes, frequent media expert;

– Repeatedly voted into Best Doctors in America;

– Past Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal Sexuality, Reproduction & Menopause;

– Distinguished Alumnus Award, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s highest honor 2008;

– Multiple national awards for research, writing, music writing and patient education;

– Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-present;

– Director, Complicated Menopause Program, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-2011;

– Founder of HealthRock®, reshaping health education with health songs and entertainment;

– Past Medical Director, Inverness Medical Innovations (now Alere);

– Corporate Consultant and Corporate Health Expert Nationally and Internationally;

– Author/editor 14 books, over 200 scientific articles;

– American Cancer Society New England Division Medical Advisory Network;

– Advisory board of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps initiative to fight childhood obesity; and

– Nationally known guest speaker, key note speaker.

Visit his award-winning website www.DoctorSeibel.com and sign up for his free monthly newsletter.

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