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Cardiovascular disease is very common in women. The warning signals of heart attack include:
- Pressure, squeezing sensation, fullness or pain in the center of the chest. It may continue for more than a few minutes, or may fade and come back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath, which may be with or without chest discomfort.
- Cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
However, women have higher odds than men of having heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain, including:
- Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort.
- Shortness of breath.
- Pain in one or both arms.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Unusual fatigue.
In the presence of any of the above, one should not wait for more than five minutes and get to a hospital right away.
More than 80% of cardiac events in women can be prevented by modifying diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking.
[Source: heart.org; southdenver.com]