- Chest pressure.
- Unusual fatigue.
- Shortness of breath that’s new or atypical.
- Indigestion (heartburn) that hasn’t occurred before.
Risk factors include a family history of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and smoking.
Women should talk to their doctor about taking preventative action early to avoid a heart attack. Steps include:
- Control your blood pressure – know what it is and take control.
- If you have diabetes or are obese – take good control by maintaining a healthy weight.
- Know your cholesterol levels after the age of 20– both LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and HDL (“good” cholesterol).
- Stop smoking.
The classic sign of a heart attack is severe chest pressure and pain that may radiate into the neck, left arm and/or shoulder, yet there are certain types of people who often experience atypical symptoms. The female and diabetic populations will commonly experience symptoms of nausea; vomiting; sweating; extreme fatigue or weakness; and/or pain in the neck, jaw or back when having a heart attack. Prompt medical attention and treatment is of utmost importance for those experiencing a heart attack. If you or someone around you is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack and/or collapses, call 911 immediately and get help. Do not drive yourself to the hospital.
Our community is fortunate, as Cone Health Heart & Vascular Care has an exceptional network of cardiologists and heart experts dedicated to helping women maintain wellness as well as care after a heart event. Cone Health also has several heart care support groups. For a complete list, please visit conehealth.com/classes.
Paula Ross, MD, is a cardiologist with Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare. Ross is a 1989 graduate of University of Michigan Medical School. She completed her residency in internal medicine at University of Michigan Hospitals and completed a fellowship in cardiology at University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas and University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine.