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More women die of cardiovascular disease than from the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. Over 80 percent of cardiac events in women can be prevented by modifying diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking. The following may be the warning signals of heart attack:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- Chest pain or discomfort is a presenting symptom in women, but they 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.
In presence of any of the above one should not wait for more than five minutes and get to a hospital right away.