Heart Attacks Also Happen to Women
Red Dress National Symbol of AHA
AHA Heart Attack Awareness for Women
Almost 2/3 of the women who die suddenly of heart attacks have no previous symptoms. Each year the American people nationwide will wear red to show their support for women's heart disease awareness on "National Wear Red Day". Half the people that die from heart disease are women.
The AHA observance promotes the red dress symbol. It provides an opportunity for women everywhere to unite in this event – promoting awareness by putting on a favorite red dress, shirt, tie, or red dress pin.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and partner organizations seek to make women more aware of the danger of heart disease. This campaign is especially aimed at women ages 40 to 60, as that is when the women's risk of heart disease begins to climb. However, it is important for younger women also as they can start to develop heart disease of younger age.
A Wakeup Call
A national awareness campaign for women about heart disease—created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002 to deliver an urgent wake-up call to American women.
While I have not had a heart attack, my doctor decided to order a heart test due to my risk factors. When I went for the test they did an EKG, and I was told not to leave the hospital due to abnormalities. The next morning I had 2 stents put in one of my arteries. If this had not been discovered I would have had a major heart attack within a short period of time. I had none of the traditional symptoms!
Plaque in Coronary Arteries
Who has Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Heart disease disproportionately affects women of color, African-American and Hispanic women, in particular, have high rates of the major risk factors for heart disease, including obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. An astonishing 80% of women between the ages of 40 and 60 have one or more risk factors for heart disease. According to can research compiled by the NHLBI, having just one risk factor doubles your chance of developing heart disease.
While a few risk factors can't be changed, most of them can. It is so important to realize you can take control of your body and reduce your risk. It can be as simple as eating healthier and taking a nice walk in the morning.
Aspirin as Prevention
Mayo Clinic emphasizes the prevention of heart attacks by using aspirin. They reported several points to remember:
- Most heart attacks happen between 6 AM and noon, so having one at night when the heart is at rest is unusual and may be related to sleep apnea.
- If you take a baby aspirin a day, take it at night because the aspirin has a 24-hour half-life, therefore the aspirin is strongest in your system in the morning hours.
- Aspirin lasts a long time, and if it is too old it will smell like vinegar.
Bayer is making a crystal aspirin that dissolves instantly on the tongue, which gets into your system twice as fast. Keep it at your bedside in case of a heart attack. if you are awakened at night with chest pain, take 2 of these aspirins immediately, then call 911. Then, sit in a chair and don't lie down.
Heart Showing Arteries That Can Become Occluded
What are the Risk Factors for Heart Disease?
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Being overweight
- Being physically inactive
- Having a family history of early heart disease
- Age (55 or older for women
- Stress especially with high-stress jobs
Diagram of a Heart Attack
What are the signs of a heart attack?
- Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes.
- Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms. The pain may be mild to intense. It may feel like pressure, tightness, burning, or heavyweight. It may be located in the chest, upper abdomen, neck, jaw, or inside the arms or shoulders.
- Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
- Anxiety, nervousness and/or cold, sweaty skin.
- Paleness or pallor.
- Increased or irregular heart rate.
- Feeling of impending doom.
Heart Attack: Early Signs and Symptoms - Lakeview Hospital
Denial Classic Symptom of Heart Attack
Not all of these symptoms occur in every heart attack. You may have chest discomfort while walking on a treadmill or doing some other exercise. You may have some chest discomfort known as angina briefly and then it may go away. Many people make the mistake of ignoring these symptoms until it's too late. Do not ignore these symptoms. Seek out your doctor so he can run some test if necessary.
Almost 2/3 of the women who die suddenly of heart attacks have no previous symptoms. You don't always have pain when you have a heart attack.
If you have these signs yourself or are with someone exhibiting these symptoms, call 911 immediately! Chew 2 aspirins immediately also, as this helps prolong your life. If the person loses consciousness, began CPR by putting the person on the floor to have a hard surface. Remember there are new CPR guidelines; you don't need to be certified to give chest compressions, as that is what is required. Use both hands to push up and down on the sternum. It helps to count to keep your rhythm, saying 1 1000, 2 1000, and so forth. Do not stop the compressions until the medics arrived to unless the person regains consciousness.
I was a critical care nurse for many years working with heart attack patients and also patients recovering from open heart surgery. I also worked for six years teaching cardiac rehabilitation. If you had any cardiac problems a cardiac rehab program will teach you everything you need to know to get healthy and stay healthy.
According to the CDC heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and people of all ages and backgrounds can get this condition. Half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2006, were women. In 2013, 289,758 women died of heart attacks, which is 1 in 4 female deaths.
Americans have a first heart attack, and another 470,000 will have had one or more heart attacks already. The cost of heart disease in the United States is currently $200 billion annually. The total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.
More than one in three female adults has some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Since 1984, the number of CVD deaths for females has exceeded those for males. In 2006, CVD was the cause of death in 432,709 females, which represented 52.1% of all deaths from heart attacks. Breast cancer claimed the lives of 40,821 females; lung cancer claimed 69,385.
About 8.4 million females living today have a history of heart attack, angina pectoris, or both. Of these, 3.5 million have a history of myocardial infarction.
Women and Heart Disease
As you can see heart disease is a major problem for all people and more than half are women. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of heart disease, and if you experience the symptoms call your doctor. If you develop symptoms that are heart symptoms call 911 immediately. I can't stress that too much. Time is crucial to saving your life.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.