In the movies, the symptoms of a heart attack are made pretty obvious: a patient arrives at the ER clutching their chest, gasping for air and complaining of pain in their right side.
But in real life, it’s not that simple.
What many people don’t realize is that heart attacks in real life can be quite different from how they’re presented in the movies.
In fact, they may not be recognized as heart attacks at all – but as a lung problem that has similar symptoms.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is on the rise, and not everyone realizes it.
Doctors don’t always recognize the symptoms of COPD, which is why it’s under-diagnosed – especially in women.
It’s believed that women are 37% more likely to have COPD than men. Women also account for more than half of the COPD-related deaths in the U.S.
But what you do need to realize is that COPD and heart failure can look very, very similar. In fact, both diseases interact with one another on several different levels.
Differentiating between the two is far from straightforward – especially in an emergency situation.
Are you at risk of either heart disease or COPD? Or both? And would you know the difference?
There’s a very simple test that can tell you.