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Women and Heart Attacks

Signs of Heart Attack in Women

  • Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of women over the age of 25 in the US
  • It kills nearly twice as many women as cancer
  • Only 13% of women think that heart disease is a threat to their health
  • Typical signs of a heart attack include:
    • Discomfort, tightness, pressure, fullness, squeezing in the center of the chest
    • Crushing chest pain
    • Pressure or pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, upper back, jaw or arms
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea
    • Clammy sweats
    • Heart flutters
    • Paleness
    • Unexplained fleeing of anxiety
    • Stomach/abdominal pain or indigestion
    • Shortness of breath

These symptoms are experienced by men. Women do not show these same symptoms.

  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Dizziness

Top five symptoms reported by women are:

  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Shortness of breath
  • Indigestion
  • Anxiety

Often women are too busy to notice their symptoms or just chalk them up to stress.

  • Quick treatment is very important when having a heart attack and most people (men and women) delay seeking help for 2 hours.
  • Women coming into the hospital for a heart attack have a higher death rate and higher risk of complications.

Prevention of Heart disease:

  • Know your numbers
    • Total Cholesterol less than 200mg
    • LDL less than 100mg
    • HDL 50mg or higher
    • Triglycerides less than 150mg
    • Blood pressure less than 120/80
    • Fasting glucose less than 100
    • BMI less than 25
    • Waist Circumference less than 35 inches
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco
  • Get plenty of exercise – at least 30 minutes most days (more if needing to lose weight)
  • Eat a heart healthy diet – fruits, vegetables, grains, low fat or nonfat dairy, fish, legumes, protein low in saturated fat
  • Maintain a health weight
  • Get checked and treated for depression if needed
  • Consult with your Dr. about certain supplements or medications which might be helpful

If you are having symptoms call 911 within 5 minutes and some recommend chewing a full strength aspirin.