Florida Recognizes National Women's Heart Day

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The Florida Department of Health (DOH) recognizes National Women's Heart Day on February 16, 2007 as part of February's American Heart Month.

"National Women's Heart Day is a great opportunity to inform women in our state about the prevention of heart disease and heart attacks," said Deputy State Health Officer Bonita Sorensen, M.D., M.B.A. "We urge every Floridian to 'listen to their heart' and join us as we advocate for healthy hearts."

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Nationally, heart disease is the number one cause of death for women over the age of 25. For many people, the first symptom of heart disease is a heart attack. Every woman should know how to identify the symptoms of a heart attack and how to get immediate medical help. In 2005, heart attacks claimed the lives of 4,408 women in Florida.

Many heart attacks start slowly as mild pain or discomfort. The most common warning signs are:

  • Chest discomfort: Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of the chest. The discomfort may be mild or severe, may last a few minutes, or may come and go.
  • Upper body discomfort: Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. This may occur with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other symptoms: Nausea, light-headedness, or a cold sweat.
    Women are somewhat more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, vomiting, nausea, and back or jaw pain.

If you think you or someone else may be having a heart attack, it is crucial to act quickly to prevent disability or death. Call 9-1-1 immediately. Emergency personnel can begin treatment to stop a heart attack on the way to the hospital.

Florida Department of Health promotes and protects the health and safety of all people in Florida through the delivery of quality public health services and the promotion of health care standards.

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