Medical Mythbuster: Do Women Have Heart Attacks?

The fact is, in the United States, more women die of heart disease than cancer, making it the leading cause of death for women in our country. Although people have typically thought of heart disease and heart attacks as a “man’s problem,” about an equal number of women and men die of heart disease each year in the U.S. That’s why women need to be aware of the key warning signs of a heart attack (which can be more subtle than in men) and be screened for cardiovascular health problems regularly.

Every woman should know these heart attack danger signs:

  1. Chest pain – 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 may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. Remember that women are somewhat more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain when having a heart attack.

If you have any of these signs, call 911 and get to a hospital right away.

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