Heart Disease Symptoms in Men You Shouldn’t Ignore
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but men tend to develop it earlier in life. The jury is still out on why this happens. However, it may help to monitor the heart disease symptoms in men and other risk factors.
Some of the common risk factors include:
- Advanced age
- High blood pressure
Although heart disease doesn’t always cause symptoms, there are a few heart disease symptoms in men that can tell you it’s time to worry. Below, we’ll cover these symptoms and more.
What is Heart Disease?
Heart disease is more of a blanket term than it is a specific diagnosis. The term refers to coronary artery disease, heart failure, arrhythmias, angina, and more. Heart disease can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
In Australia, men die from heart disease-related events about twice as often as women. Though there have been drastic improvements in heart disease treatments in recent years, heart disease is still a massive killer among men.
For this reason, men need to be especially diligent when combating the risk factors for heart disease. It’s impossible to avoid everything that could lead to a heart attack, but knowing your risk can alert you to some warning signs and symptoms.
How Common is Heart Disease for Men?
Heart disease is a leading killer for both men and women, but it is more common in men from a younger age. For example, heart disease is responsible for over 10% of deaths in males 45 and older. In females for the same age group, the proportion is closer to 4%.
Cardiovascular disease killed 43,963 Australians in 2016. That means an average of 120 Australians lost their life from a cardiovascular-related problem every day.
Cardiovascular disease accounted for 27% of male deaths and 29% of female deaths in 2016. Americans experienced similar numbers in 2013, where heart disease caused every one in four male deaths.
Heart disease is even more prevalent among Indigenous Australians. Indigenous males are hospitalised for heart disease twice as often as non-Indigenous males.
4.2 million Australians – or about one in every six – are affected by heart disease in some way. The percentages rise with age, as 35% of Aussies who are 55-64 have a long term cardiovascular condition. This percentage jumps to 66% at 75 and older.
As you can see, heart disease is a massive killer in the developed world, both for men and for women. In many cases, risk can be reduced through diet and physical activity. Understanding the symptoms and risk factors may help you recognise trouble before it progresses.
Heart Disease Symptoms in Men
While we wish we could give you a list of surefire signs that you’re suffering from heart disease, you might not be so lucky. Signs of a heart attack can be so subtle – if they are even noticeable at all – that many men who die suddenly from a heart disease-related event report no symptoms beforehand, making it incredibly difficult to seek treatment.
These lethal events don’t always even take place in the chest. If you’re at all worried that you’re experiencing a heart attack or stroke, seek medical help immediately. A lack of extreme symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not at risk.
Still, there are a few heart disease symptoms in men that you should never ignore – especially if you’re older than 60 and present multiple risk factors. Men and women tend to experience different symptoms before a heart attack; for example, women are more likely to have symptoms that are unrelated to chest pain.
Chest pain or a tight feeling in the chest is probably the most obvious sign that you’re experiencing a heart attack or blocked artery. These symptoms manifest themselves in different ways for different people.
Some who have suffered a heart attack describe a pinching or burning sensation, while others claim it feels like immense pressure in their chest.
This pain will usually last longer than a few minutes, and it can occur in periods of stress or relaxation. If the pain goes away after a bit or if it feels more like a tender spot in your chest, you probably aren’t having a heart attack – though you should still go to the doctor for a checkup.
Spreading of the Pain
Heart attacks and blocked arteries usually cause pain or discomfort in the chest that can spread to other parts of the body. One of the common places to feel pain during a heart event is on the left side of the body – usually the arm.
You may also start to feel pain in your jaw or throat. These symptoms – while easy to ignore on their own – may indicate that it’s time to get to hospital.
Sweating uncontrollably for no reason is another indication of a heart attack. If you experience this symptom and are in a risky bracket for heart disease, it could be worth going to hospital – even if no other symptoms present themselves.
Usually, though, sweating comes along with chest pain.
An irregular heartbeat is common – especially if you’re nervous, anxious, or scared. While this symptom doesn’t always indicate a heart attack, it’s one you shouldn’t ignore.
Weakness or exhaustion from everyday tasks is another indication that there’s a problem in your heart. The blood isn’t pumping as it should be, and you may even begin to feel lightheaded.
This is another symptom you should check out right away, as it could be a sign that a heart attack is around the corner.
Paying attention to what your body is trying to tell you – and treating it well – may turn out to be the thing that saves your life.