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Community Health: Education, Prevention & Inspiration

February is Heart Health Month

As American Heart Month wraps up, and after a recent news statement about women and heart attacks, providing data and facts about heart health and heart attack warning signs in women seems appropriate.

What is Heart Disease you ask?

Heart Disease is the buildup of plaque in the heart arteries which causes heart attacks. A heart attack strikes someone about every 34 seconds. It occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because the arteries that supply the heart with blood can slowly narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances (plaque).

For an animation of how this works please click the link:

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in women and 1 in 3 women die from Heart disease. Most women are not aware they are having heart attack symptoms this is because most women believes the pain and discomfort they are experiencing is due to acid reflux, the flu or aging. In order to identify the warning signs, one must know what the common warnings signs are particularly for women.

Below is a list of Heart Attack Signs in Women:

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

The number one heart disease prevention is Lifestyle changes. Other changes include:

  1. Not smoking/quit smoking
  2. Choose good nutrition or healthier food options
  3. Be physically active at least 30 minutes a day. Walking, taking the stairs and parking further from the front door
  4. Managing diabetes
  5. Limiting alcohol consumption

If you have any of these signs, don't wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

For more information about Heart Disease and Heart attacks in women: