Monday, February 6, 2012

February is Women’s Heart Health Month-Take care of your Heart

My blogger friend, Samantha, from wrote this great post regarding heart disease in women.  Did you know that heart disease kills more women than cancer?    We are taught that the symptoms of a heart attack are pain down the left arm and pressure in the center of the chest, but the symptoms for women are much different.  The following is from an article in The Ladies' Home Journal:
Know the Symptoms A heart attack isn't always excruciatingly painful. A majority of male and female heart attack survivors told University of Rochester researchers in a 2007 study that there was less discomfort than they would have expected. Women often don't have the classic symptoms, says Jennifer H. Mieres, MD, director of nuclear cardiology and associate professor of medicine at New York University Medical Center. "Instead of chest pain, you may feel pressure, as if somebody were pushing on the inside of your chest, or you may have pain or unusual sensations somewhere other than your chest, such as your upper abdomen, the left side of your back, your shoulder, even your jaw," Dr. Mieres says. "One woman's teeth hurt and she had numbness in her mouth along with fullness in her chest. Some women also get a cold, clammy feeling or a sense that something's badly wrong. Or your only symptom may be unusual shortness of breath, so you're huffing and puffing during mild exertion that doesn't usually bother you, or feel that you can't get enough air."
Most younger women (55 or under) who have heart attacks don't recognize any of the warning signs, Yale University researchers reported in May. Many had so-called atypical symptoms, such as sudden onset of fatigue, nausea, and weakness, which are more likely to strike women than men. But even though 88 percent also had some chest pain, a leading heart attack symptom in both sexes, only 42 percent thought it was their heart. Others blamed heartburn or indigestion, which feel similar. Recognizing symptoms that might be a heart attack -- and realizing you could be vulnerable -- is key to survival.
A friend of a friend just had a heart attack and what were her symptoms? Not feeling like herself, unable to shake off a cold that she’d had for weeks, and extreme exhaustion.
Education is the key to better health, the more we know the better we can take care of ourselves and our families.