Women & Heart Disease

Know the Signs. Act Immediately!

In the United States, a woman suffers a heart attack every 90 seconds. If you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately. By getting help quickly, treatment can save a life and prevent permanent damage to the heart muscle. Treatment works best if given within one hour of when symptoms begin.

Symptoms for Women

The signs of a heart attack are not the same for men and women. Women experiencing these symptoms could be showing early signs of a heart attack:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Heartburn-like feeling or loss of appetite
  • Pain, numbness, discomfort in the back, neck or jaw
  • Pressure or squeezing in the chest
  • Unexplained cough
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Light-headedness or sudden dizziness
  • Unexplained fatigue

More Dangerous to Women than Cancer

Although many of us think of heart disease as a man's disease, it isn't. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in American women. About eight times more women die from heart disease than breast cancer; in fact, heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.

More than half of the women who experience heart attacks do not make a full recovery. If you are lfortunate enough to avoid a heart attack, heart disease can still cause complications, such as angina and heart failure, which can interfere with everyday activities and severely diminish your quality of life. 

You Can Make a Change

The power to change is in your hands. You are lucky enough to be alive— why not adopt healthy habits that help you feel better, look better and maintain your independence and quality of life? The first step is to identify your risk factors.

  • Last updated: 02/06/2014
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