On the first Friday in February we wear red in support for Women’s Heart Health. Why is a healthy heart so important? Because heart disease is the number one cause of death in women. One in four women die yearly from heart disease.
What is Heart Disease?
Heart Disease is a number of problems that affect the heart its blood vessels. Heart disease includes:
- Coronary Artery Disease, the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of heart attacks, causes your blood vessels to become hard and narrow. This makes it difficult for blood to pass through to the heart. Coronary Artery Disease can lead to:
- Angina, which is chest pain or discomfort caused by lack of blood. This may feel like a pressing or squeezing sensation in the chest, but can also be present in the shoulders, jaw, neck, or back. Angina is NOT a heart attack, but does increase risk of heart attack.
- Heart Attacks occur when an artery becomes severely or completely blocked and the heart does not get the blood it needs for more than 20 minutes.
- Heart Failure happens when the heart cannot pump blood through the body as well as it should. It does not mean the heart stops. Symptoms of heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath, or feeling like you can’t get enough air.
- Swelling in feet, ankles, and legs.
- Extreme tiredness
- Heart Arrythmias are changes in the beat of the heart. Changes in the heartbeat are harmless for most people, but if you experience flutters and other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, or dizziness call 911.
What are the signs of a Heart Attack?
- For men and women the most common symptom is pain in the center of the chest. The pain can be mild or it can be strong. It can go away and come back.
- Other common signs are pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the neck, the back, or the jaw.
- Shortness of breath, which often occurs before or during the pain and discomfort.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Feeling faint, woozy, and cold sweats.
Women are more likely to also have less common signs of a heart attack, including:
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue or weakness
- Heart flutters
If you think you, or someone you know is having a heart attack, wait NO more than 5 minutes before calling 911.
And help us spread awareness… wear red on Friday, February 3rd!