Know the Warning Signs of Impending Heart Attack in Women

2010-02-01 10:09

February is Go Red for Women month, which the American Heart Association uses to bring attention to heart disease in women. Heart disease kills more women each year than breast cancer. Nearly one in every three women will die from cardiovascular disease.

More than 80% of cardiac events in women can be prevented if good choices are made involving diet, exercise, and abstaining from smoking. It is important to lower the salt in your diet and lean towards a Mediterranean diet high in fish and fresh vegetables, low in processed carbohydrates.

It's very important to know the warning signs of an impending heart attack:

Chest discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. These are especially important if they occur during activity or exertion. Jaw pain is often ignored as TMJ disease.

Shortness of breath will often accompany the chest discomfort, but may precede it.

Other symptoms include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.


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Heart attacks in women have slightly different symptoms than men. Women who have a heart attack normally experiences the ‘classic’ heart attack symptoms as well as some other symptoms. It is very unusual and strange and so it is misdiagnosed. Women assume that they are less prone to heart attacks but this is not the truth always. Obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are the risk factors which develop heart attack in women.