Signs of angina in women

Angina or «angina pectoris» is a disease-a precursor of myocardial infarction. According to statistics angina among women is rarer than in men, occurs more favorably and twice as often leads to heart attack. The peculiarities of this pathology in women is partly due to the onset of their menopause.

Where does angina?

The cause of this disease is insufficient blood flow (and with it oxygen and nutrients) to the heart muscle cells. This is the result of narrowing of the coronary vessels that feed the myocardium. Factors contributing to this are many, including the presence of harmful habits, stress, atherosclerosis, increased blood clots.

What types of angina occur in women?

There are three main types of angina – voltage (stable), unstable, and variant. Stable angina, in turn, is divided into several classes, depending on severity:

  • 1 class, when an attack occurs against the background of strong physical exertion;
  • Grade 2 suggests the occurrence of seizures after a quick walk, climbing stairs or even after a meal;
  • Class 3 can occur as the result of minor stresses, stress, lift to the second floor via the stairs or even from the abrupt change of temperature (when entering in the cold, for example);
  • Class 4 occurs by itself without any significant physical or psycho-emotional stress.

Unstable angina is characterized by progression of symptoms, sometimes the pain may occur at night or on the background of complete rest. This type is less favorable, because the heart constantly has a shortage of oxygen.

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The main symptoms of angina in women

The symptoms of the disease have the same causes as men, but differ in some features:

  • Pain syndrome is characterized by nonspecific manifestations, thus, angina in women is often confused with other diseases. So, in the event of attack will not be a typical baking and compressing chest pain, as men, would cause the stabbing or throbbing pain. Possible transition pain in the back, neck, left arm or left shoulder blade.
  • Признаки стенокардии у женщин

  • The patient may be covered in a cold sweat.
  • Sometimes there is numbness of the tips of the fingers.
  • During attack in women are sometimes marked changes in the form of spasm of the coronary arteries. This is confirmed by angiographies, carried out at the height of cardialgia (pain in the heart). However, this does not deny the fact that angina is caused by ischemia.
  • Nausea and heartburn are as nonspecific, but often accompanying pain in the region of the heart the symptom.
  • Coughing in women with angina usually occurs at night and is the result of stagnation of blood in the pulmonary arteries.
  • Shortness of breath in women, as a rule, does not happen, but there may be shallow breathing. A deep breath causes pain, so the patient begin to breathe shallowly.
  • The exercise test in women is uninformative, as is often (almost half of the cases) may give false positive results.
  • How to confirm the diagnosis of angina in women?

    The nomination and confirmation of this diagnosis in women brings certain difficulties. Due to the fact that pain is not so strongly pronounced as in men, women later seek medical help and often this happens even then when you started, or close to a heart attack. However, given some diagnostic features, it is necessary to put the diagnosis of angina:

    • ECG no load, at rest. Allows to evaluate the heart muscle, the degree of lack of oxygen. Appreciate the ST interval, which reflects the recovery of the heart during diastole. If the level of this interval dips below the contour, it is possible to speak about significant hypoxia of the myocardium.
    • ECG stress is appropriate, if at rest, pathological changes were found. The patient is given a load in the form of running on a treadmill or stationary bike. This is followed by a control ECG.
    • The echo-KS (ultrasound of the heart) allows to better define the degree of hypoxia than in ECG. Is the same as the load, and then evaluated the work of the heart as a whole.
    • Scintigraphy performed to those patients who have non-standard course of the disease. The method is based on the introduction of radioactive substances into the venous blood. These substances are absorbed by normal living myocardial cells and start to emit radiation that is estimated by the apparatus. Areas that did not absorb the radioactive substance are of hypoxia, or dead and gone, as during a heart attack.