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Hi. I'm Jacki

I write a lifestyle blog for Gen X women who are ready to say YES to (mid)life & become what they might have been.

Could you have heart disease

Could you have heart disease

Every minute a woman dies from heart disease. Forty-three million women are living with heart disease. Are you one of them? Do you even know the answer to that?

Here are some statistics for you:

  • 1 in 3 deaths of women in the US is caused by heart disease
  • Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined
  • Heart disease affects more women than men

Do those numbers scare you? I know they scare me.

What is heart disease

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, is

a simple term used to describe several problems related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. As the plaque builds up, the arteries narrow, making it more difficult for blood to flow and creating a risk for heart attack or stroke.

Heart disease also includes heart failure, irregular heartbeat, and heart valve problems.

What you need to know about heart attacks & women

Sixty-four percent of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. Because these symptoms vary greatly between men and women, they’re often misunderstood.
— Go Red For Women

You know what the symptoms of a heart attack are, right?

Extreme chest pain and a shooting pain in the left arm. You know that if you have any of these symptoms, you should immediately seek medical help.

Those are the symptoms for men, but they are not always the symptoms experienced by women.

While women can feel the extreme chest pressure, many do not. Women should look for the following signs:

  • shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen
  • dizziness
  • light-headedness or fainting
  • upper back pressure
  • extreme fatigue
  • pain or discomfort in one or both arms, neck, or jaw
  • breaking out in a cold sweat
  • nausea or vomiting

In fact, many women often believe they are dealing with the flu. For more information about heart attack symptoms in women, visit the American Heart Association.

It is important to remember that if you believe you are experiencing a heart attack to be insistent with your healthcare professional.

Unfortunately, research and literature for the past few decades has focused on heart attacks in men. And not all professionals are aware that symptoms can differ between the genders. More women than necessary are sent home with anti-anxiety medication when they were actually experiencing a heart attack.

Join the Go Red For Women movement

According to the Go Red For Women website, the movement was created

to save lives and raise awareness of this serious issue [heart disease], the American Heart Association launched Go Red For Women. And the red dress has become the iconic symbol of our battle against heart disease in women.

Since Go Red for Women was created in 2004, the Go Red Heart CheckUp has engaged more than 2 million women to learn their risk of heart disease .

What does it mean to go red?

  • Schedule an appointment with your physician to check your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Improve your lifestyle by losing excess weight, exercising, and eating healthy
  • Know that one in three women die from heart disease
  • Help your family make healthy, educated decisions around food and exercise
  • Inform others by participating in events like Go Red For Women

Then visit the Go Red For Women website to learn if you are at risk for heart disease and find out how else you can get involved.

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