Women still don't recognize heart attack symptoms

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by KING 5 HealthLink

KING5.com

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:45 AM

The government launched a new campaign today aimed at educating women about the signs of heart disease and the risks.

It happens once every minute in the U.S.: A women suffers a heart attack. 

It's the number one killer among women, but according to a recent survey, when it comes to recognizing the signs of heart disease and dialing 9-1-1, women will only call if it's happening to someone else.

"Women typically are superwomen. They're for everyone but they are very unlikely to take care of themselves," said  Dr. Roquell Wyche of Washington Hospital Center.

The Department of Health and Human Services has launched a new campaign called, "Make the call, don't miss a beat," to educate women on the symptoms and the risks. 

Sixty percent of Caucasian women surveyed were aware heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, compared to 45 percent of African American women.

"African American women have more risk factors and poor outcomes and are less likely to know their risk factors and symptoms, " said Dr. Wyche.

Cardiologist Maria Mountis of The Cleveland Clinic points out that the signs in women tend to be different.

"The symptoms can be much more subdued. They can be anything from shortness of breath, nausea, they can have some palpitations, they can have pain that goes into their jaw or back," said Mountis.

Health officials say, along with knowing your risk,  it's important to find ways to prevent heart disease. Those include eating a healthy diet, exercising and getting check-ups to track blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and your waistline.

In women, a waist size over 35 inches is considered obese and  an early risk factor for heart disease.

For more information:

http://womenshealth.gov/HeartAttack/
 

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