Did you know that Heart Disease is the number 1 killer of women in the United States?
A 2003 American Heart Association study of more than 1,000 women, revealed the lack of general understanding most women have about the dangers of heart disease and stroke. According to the results, only 13 percent of women in America believe that heart disease and stroke are their greatest health threat.
Here’s what women should be aware of:
- Know the signs of a heart attack.
- Chest discomfort — Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body — Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath (with or without chest discomfort)
- Breaking out in a cold sweat, experiencing nausea and/or lightheadedness (other symptoms that may occur)
- Women’s heart attack symptoms may differ from men’s.
- Women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms—particularly shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
- 71 percent of women experience early warning signs of heart attack with the sudden onset of extreme weakness that feels much like the flu—often with no chest pain at all.
- Don’t wait! Call 9-1-1 right away.
- When having a heart attack, women tend to wait longer than men to go to an emergency room.
- Nearly two-thirds of the deaths resulting from heart attacks in women, occur among those who have no history of chest pain.
- You are never too young.
- When heart attacks in women occur before the age of 50, they are twice as likely as men’s to be fatal.
- 42 percent of women who have heart attacks die within one year, compared to 24 percent of men.
- Have regular checkups.
- The diagnosis of cardiovascular disease in women presents a greater challenge in men.
- Educate yourself.
- We offer free community health presentations, seminars, expos, and other events throughout the year to help women (and men) learn more about the risks of heart disease and stroke. If you’d like to learn more, attend an event or give us a call!