We’ve all seen it before in the movies: a man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. They call 911 and then it’s revealed that he had a heart attack. In real life though, it’s typically not that simple or dramatic, especially if the heart attack victim is a woman. The signs can be different and subtler, making it harder to catch and therefore, important to know.
The Wall Street Journal published a story titled “I Had No Idea I Was Having a Heart Attack” written by a retired cardiac-care nurse, Robin Oliveira, who suffered a heart attack after an exercise class in 2011. It is a chilling account of her symptoms, her reaction/actions, the 911 medics treatment and is a wake-up call for all of us. According to her in a “2017 Journal of the American Heart Association reports that women take an average of 30 minutes longer than men to reach the hospital ~ possibly because they dismiss the symptoms.” The article inspired me to do some research on the subject.
I wanted to share with you the main seven signs of heart attack. I am not a medical professional and this article does not take the place of regular check-ups with your doctor. It is designed to help educate you on some signs of a heart attack in women. (Heart Attack Symptoms in Women).
- Some type of pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. Women may describe chest pain as pressure or a tightness. The feeling typically lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms
- Nausea or vomiting
- Breaking out in a cold sweat or lightheadedness
- Unusual fatigue
If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.
Remember, women of all ages should take heart disease seriously, especially those with a family history of heart disease. Did you know that heart disease the #1 killer of women in the United States? Pay close attention to heart disease risk factors and you can always start making lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of heart disease, including:
- Quit or don't start smoking!
- Exercise regularly (5 Tips on Fitness & Exercise)
- Maintain a healthy weight (Live to Eat or Eat to Live)
- Eat a healthy diet and snack smart (Healthy Snacking Ideas)
What are some ways you are keeping your heart healthy? Love to hear your comments and ideas – shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!