Do You Know the Signs of a Heart Attack in Women?
Heart health is dear to me, not only because heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, but also because it is how I lost my own father. According to Womenheart.org, nearly five times as many women will die from heart attacks this year than from breast cancer. Heart attacks can strike instantly, and since many women associate heart attacks with men, they may miss some warning signs. February is National Heart Health Awareness month, so it is the perfect time to review the symptoms of a heart attack in women so we are all prepared.
Surprisingly, women don’t necessarily experience chest pain during or prior to a heart attack, although they may have some discomfort in the neck, shoulder, upper back, or abdominal areas. Other symptoms to pay attention to include:
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Unusual Fatigue
Why do more women die from heart attacks than men? One of the main reasons is that women don’t seek help when they should. They don’t know the warning signs and when they finally realize something is wrong, it may be too late since every second during a heart attack counts.
It is so important that we each make a priority to be our own number one advocate and ask the doctor questions about our personal risk factors or any concerns. As a daughter of a heart attack victim, I can tell you that losing a loved one is excruciating, especially when it is sudden and may have been prevented. For this reason, I know I need to keep myself healthy because I do not want to put my children through the same pain. Please take time this month to love yourself by discussing your heart health with your doctor.
I am not a doctor, if you are experiencing any symptoms or suspect that you are having a heart attack, call your physician and/or 911 immediately.