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Heart Disease Is the Leading Cause of Death Amongst Women

Was That a Heart Attack or Am I Just Tired?

I was shocked when I first heard that heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst women. It's not something many people talk about, at least not in the same way as breast cancer or obesity. Since I associate heart attacks more with men, I wasn't too surprised to hear that a lot of other women are misinformed too.

A study found that almost half of 2,300 women surveyed wouldn't call 911 if they were having a heart attack, primarily because they couldn't identify the symptoms. Most women didn't know that heart disease is also the leading cause of death amongst their gender.

The American Heart Association (AHA) conducted the study as a way to determine how to educate the public about heart disease. Researchers say that the messages provided by the media about heart disease are often confusing — the AHA's goal is to raise awareness by delivering the facts in a straightforward and simple way.


Ladies, it's American Heart Month, meaning there's no better time to learn the warning signs that you may be experiencing a heart attack. Here are the symptoms WebMD advises we look for. Please call 911 if you think you or someone you know is experiencing an attack.

  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone
  • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm
  • Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)
  • Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness
  • Extreme fatigue, weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats
Join The Conversation
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I've also had chest pains and other symptoms of a heart attack, it kept me up all night. I hit the doctor the next day and was instantly told it was a muscle spasm. The doctor didn't even ask me about my symptoms, I just said "Chest pain" and he responded with "spasms." I suppose if your under the age of 60 Doctor's just don't really want to bother.
kittieflyn kittieflyn 7 years
I have these symptoms all the time. I've called 911 once and been to the ER twice. The hospital staff did a few quick tests, told me I'm young and healthy and to not worry about anything. I now feel like a hypochondriac but still freak out every time I feel a flutter, have heartburn or have any sort of ache on my left side.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
The symptoms of a heart attack in women are definitely different than the symptoms that men typically have. There was a woman on the Dr. Oz show that saw his show on heart disease and one of the symptoms of a heart attack was a feeling of warmth in the chest. She said a few days later, she felt that warm feeling and went to the ER. Turns out, she was having a heart attack and that was her only symptom. It really makes you want to be aware of any strange symptoms you might be having.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I would probably just think I was having a panic attack too. Why can't women's heart attack symptoms be more cut and dried? Most of these could be mistaken for about a dozen other things.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
Are you serious, TammyO?? You are going to worry about potentially looking foolish versus dying?
TammyO TammyO 7 years
I would never know since all these symptoms just would feel like a panic attack. I've had those AND called 911 AND was in the ER and then basically laughed at when I told them I thought I was having a heart attack! Now if I did actually have a heart attack now I would never bother to call 911 for fear of being wrong then laughed at!
califab califab 7 years
I didn't have a heart attack, but I asked my husband to call an ambulance last month when I had sharp pains in my abdomen. At the time I felt like I was such a hypochondriac and I tried to tough it out. Luckily he called, 3 hours later I was in emergency surgery and now I'm fine. Listen to your instincts. Even dramatic moments seem manageable when you are in them, and it's better not to take any chances and if you're worried make sure you are ok.
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