Diane Feenstra wasn’t too terribly alarmed when she felt a little tightness in her chest this spring. Still, she decided to glance at her smartwatch — a birthday present from her husband — to check her pulse.
The reading: 169 beats per minute at rest. She hadn’t exercised or been agile at all.
“I idea maybe there’s something going on health-wise that I should check out, merely I still didn’t retrieve I’d had a eye set on or that probably I was heading toward another 1 that day,” Feenstra, 69, who lives in Norton Shores, Michigan, told TODAY.
She texted her hubby for communication, who told her to call her doctor immediately. She headed to the nearest urgent intendance, where a physician looked at her EKG, handed her 4 infant aspirins and told her chew them right away.
Adjacent stop: a cardiology heart in Yard Rapids, where tests showed testify of a contempo heart attack and blockage of the left anterior descending avenue, the largest coronary artery that supplies blood to the front of the middle. An obstruction there can cause a “widowmaker” heart attack — called that because it tin can cause a lot of damage. Some other EKG looked “messy ugly,” Feenstra was told, with the cardiologist preparing her for the possibility of middle failure.
But a cardiac MRI showed her heart was viable and doctors inserted a stent to open the blockage.
Feenstra credited her Apple Spotter for potentially saving her life on that day in April.
“Were it not for the fact that I had that 169 beats per infinitesimal for a period of time, I wouldn’t probably be here today,” she said. “Seeing information technology on my sentry told me y’all have something going that you need to investigate at present.”
In hindsight, Feenstra had middle attack symptoms she had dismissed or explained away to other causes. Like many women, she expected a heart assault to produce “elephant sitting on your chest” pressure level, when the signs tin can be more than subtle.
Beginning in February, she felt intense hurting that started in her cervix and ran down to the wrist of her left arm, but it would come up and go and so she figured it was arthritis.
When she afterward experienced hurting in her neck and back, she causeless she had vacuumed likewise aggressively. When she felt drawn, she blamed it on wintertime and being stuck within without regular exercise.
There was i dark in particular when Feenstra couldn’t sleep and felt and so nauseous that she put a wastebasket by her side just in case she had to throw up, simply she figured information technology was just something she ate.
“I didn’t think information technology was a heart attack at all, and I should accept,” she said, noting that her oldest sis died of the status. “I actually should have been more circumspect to my health.”
When it comes to middle assault symptoms, women take more shortness of breath or nausea and vomiting than men. Women as well more frequently have hurting in the cervix, jaw, throat, abdomen or back.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in the U.S, so it’s of import to pay attention to the symptoms, said Dr. Andrew Freeman, a cardiologist at National Jewish Wellness in Denver, Colorado.
But he cautioned that just because a person experiences a fast heart rate, it doesn’t necessarily mean an imminent heart attack or require a trip to the emergency room. A speedy pulse at rest is a response to a stressor and can be caused by watching a scary pic, receiving bad news, preparing to give a presentation or battling an infection like a common cold.
“Your heart is sort of the fastest style your body can respond to increased demand,” said Freeman, who is not treating Feenstra, just commented in general.
“When yous’re having a heart set on and role of your centre may not be functioning so well, the quickest style your body responds is to increment center rate, then heart assail could certainly be on the differential, merely it probably wouldn’t be the about common style people would present.”
He chosen smartwatches a “double-edged sword” because they tin can collect of import wellness data, but also lead to information overload for patients and their doctors. The ultimate goal is to take the information filtered in a manner that physicians can await at the things that matter, when they matter, as opposed to every single heartbeat, Freeman said.
Still, “if yous do discover that your vital signs are ever out of whack… it’due south skillful to get them checked out,” he added.
For nigh of adults, a resting centre rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute is normal, co-ordinate to the American Centre Association.
If your smartwatch shows an unusually high pulse, double check and measure out it yourself by putting your fingers under your neck or on your wrist, Freeman said. If the number is accurate, look for an explanation or any accompanying symptoms. A very rapid middle rate at remainder that’s accompanied past chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, lightheadedness or a faint feeling should prompt an emergency visit.
Meanwhile, Feenstra is “feeling wonderful” and going to heart exercise class for an hour three times a week. She urged other women to pay attention to subtle symptoms.
“Listen to your body. It’southward trying to talk to you,” she said.