WOMEN WARNING! It Could Be a Heart Attack!: NWHIC
Article title: WOMEN WARNING! It Could Be a Heart Attack!: NWHIC
Conditions: Heart Attack
WARNING! It Could Be a Heart Attack!
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Heart disease and
stroke will kill almost 50% of all women in the United
just a man's disease
Not all women and men experience
heart attacks the same. In fact, the symptoms that some women report
when they have a heart attack can be different than what some men
report. A classic warning sign for heart attack in women is chest
pain. However, women may also experience are other symptoms, such as
nausea, shortness of breath or pain to the arm, shoulder or neck.
Listen to your body. Don't ignore your symptoms. Get help
|WHAT WOMEN SHOULD KNOW: THE WARNING
SIGNS OF A HEART ATTACK
The most common or "classic"
warning* signs of heart attack are:
- Uncomfortable pressure, fullness,
squeezing or burning pain in the center of the chest that
lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain that spreads to the shoulders,
neck or arms.
- Chest discomfort with lightheadedness,
fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
Other warning* signs of heart
- Unusual chest pain, stomach or
- Nausea or dizziness (without chest
- Shortness of breath and difficulty
breathing (without chest pain).
- Unexplained anxiety, weakness or
- Palpitations, cold sweat or paleness.
*Not all the warning signs occur in every
attack. Sometimes they go away and return. If some of these
symptoms appear, get help fast. Medical science now offers
treatments that can stop a heart attack in its tracks.
Treatments are most effective if given within one hour of when
the attack begins. However, only 1 in 5 patients get to the
hospital emergency department within one hour of when their
Heart disease is the #1
killer of American women.
More than one in five women
have some form of cardiovascular disease.
459,841 people died in 1998
from heart attacks and other heart related events-almost half of
those victims were women.
One out of three women
compared with one out of four men will die within one year after
having a heart attack.
A woman's chances of
developing heart disease soar after she goes through menopause.
More women than men will
suffer a second heart attack within four years after their first
African American women are
60 percent more likely to die of coronary heart disease than white
Women with diabetes are 3 to
4 times more likely than men to develop heart disease.
Fewer than one in ten women
today think that heart disease is their greatest health threat.
Diabetes doubles the risk of
a second heart attack in women.
HAVING A HEART ATTACK? DON'T WAIT.
wait longer than men to call for help.
IF YOU NOTICE ONE
OR MORE OF THESE WARNING SIGNS IN ANYONE, DON'T WAIT MORE THAN A
FEW MINUTES-5 AT MOST-TO CALL 9-1-1.
Be at Risk for Heart Disease if You:
- Smoke or use tobacco products
- Have diabetes
- Have high blood pressure
- Have high cholesterol, including a high LDL
(bad cholesterol), low HDL (good cholesterol) or high
triglyceride levels ∑ Have a sedentary lifestyle, or get little
- Are overweight
- Have a family history of heart disease
- Had early menopause (before age 40)
- Already had a heart attack
- Have high levels of stress, feeling little
control over your environment
Reduce Your Risk for Heart Disease if You:
- Stop smoking
- Eat a heart-healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Keep blood sugar, blood pressure and
cholesterol under control
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day on
- Talk to your health care provider about
screening tests for heart disease
- Learn how to reduce and manage stress
- Engage in activities that can improve heart
health (gardening, walking, housecleaning, stair climbing,
Coupled with Action, is Power. Take Charge of Your Health!
Ask your health care provider
some of the following questions about the risks you face as a woman and
the preventive measures you should take.
- What are my risk factors for heart disease?
- What diseases in my family history should I be
- Do I need to lose or gain weight for my health?
- What should I know about the effects of menopause
on my health?
- What is a healthy eating plan for me?
- What kind of physical activity is right for me?
- What is my blood pressure? Is it at a healthy
- What are my cholesterol levels? Is that at a
diseases are diseases of the heart and blood
vessel system, including heart attack, high blood pressure,
stroke, angina (chest pain) and coronary heart disease (blood vessel
disease in the heart). Heart
attacks, also called myocardial
infarctions, result from coronary heart disease. A heart
attack happens when an artery becomes blocked, preventing oxygen
and nutrients from getting to the heart. The blockage is usually
caused by the buildup of plaque (deposits of fat-like substances)
along the walls of these
This information was developed by the U.S. DHHS
Office on Women's Health and the American Society of Echocardiography
and written in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung and Blood
Institute (NHLBI) campaign, "Act in Time to Heart Attack Signs". For
more information about the campaign and the National Heart Attack Alert
Program, please contact NHLBI at 301-592-8573 or visit the web site www.nhlbi.nih.gov/actintime.
For other inquiries, please visit the National Women's Health
Information Center at https://www.4woman.gov/ or call
1-800-994-WOMAN (TDD: 1-888-220-5446).