Monday, February 13, 2017

A Woman's Heart

What Every Woman Should Know about Heart Attack
February is all about hearts! This month not only the American Heart Association's Go Red Month for heart disease awareness, it is also Valentine's Day, too.  It won't come as a surprise to say that men and women are different. But, it may surprise you to learn that mean and women may experience heart attacks differently, too. We are all familiar with the classic picture of a man clutching his chest in pain which immediately alerts us to the possibility of a heart attack. However, this may not happen in women, and instead women may experience other symptoms not quickly associated with heart attacks, such as:
  • Pain in the arm(s), back, neck, or jaw 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Shortness of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness 
  • Sweating 
  • Fatigue
While these symptoms may not be a heart attack by themselves, do not take a chance if you feel something isn't right. 

According to the CDC, women are "more likely to describe chest pain that is sharp, burning and more frequently have pain in the neck, jaw, throat, abdomen or back."

You are not alone when it comes to cardiovascular diseases and stroke. According to the Go Red for Women website, 1 in 3 women's deaths are from heart disease and stroke, killing 1 women every 80 seconds!
* approximately 44 million women in the US are affected
* 90% of women have 1 or more risk factors
* 80% of heart disease and stroke events might be prevented by lifestyle changes
Learn more at

Are you at risk?
If you are Hispanic, you are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than their Caucasian counterparts and it is the leading cause of death for Hispanic women. Sadly, only 34% are even aware that heart disease is their biggest health risk. 1 in 8 women report their doctor has brought up their risk.
African-American women also have increased risk, killing over 48,000 annually. 48.3% of African-American women ages 20 and older have cardiovascular disease yet only 14% believe it is a big health problem risk. Worse, only 50% of African-American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack!

Now for some good news just in time for Valentines Day: chocolate may not be so bad for you after all!
Chocolate benefits may include:
* lowering cholesterol levels
* preventing cognitive decline
* reducing risk of cardiovascular issues

Keep in mind the key word is "may"--more studies need to be done to prove the health benefits of chocolate conclusively. So, don't despair if you get some chocolate for Valentines Day, researchers suggest that "consuming a small amount of chocolate every day could lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease." Take care of your health, heart and most of all be aware of what your body may be telling you--it could save your life!