She & He: The Gender Differences | Torrance Memorial

Published on January 03, 2018

She & He: The Gender Differences

Torrance Memorial doctors strive to be on the cutting edge of heart disease prevention and treatment. Here's what they know now about CAD.

elated couple hugging

She CAD Risk Factors:

  • Age (55+)
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Unhealthy blood cholesterol levels
  • Inactivity
  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Insulin resistance
  • Stress
  • Alcohol use
  • Auto immune disease
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Preeclampsia during pregnancy
  • Breast cancer therapy

Symptoms of Heart Attack:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme fatigue (that might have started weeks ago)
  • Decrease in exercise tolerance
  • Nausea, heartburn, indigestion or stomach pain

He CAD Risk Factors:

  • Age (45+)
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Unhealthy blood cholesterol levels
  • Inactivity
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Insulin resistance
  • Stress
  • Alcohol Use
  • Sleep apnea/snoring

Symptoms of Heart Attack:

  • Chest discomfort (like an elephant sitting on your chest)
  • Chest tightness with activity
  • Nausea, heartburn, indigestion or stomach pain
  • Pain spreading to the arm
  • Pain or pressure that spreads to the jaw
  • Cold sweat

"Women, in general, tend to have more vague symptoms," explains cardiologist Victoria Shin, "and we as physicians need to be mindful of the different symptoms and evaluate the patient's overall risk profile. For example, if a woman who had several CAD risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, presented with vague symptoms, I would be more apt to check for heart-related problems. It would be ideal to educate patients as well, to be as specific about their description of symptoms as possible."