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Heart attacks and heart disease are more often viewed as a man’s problem then a woman’s. But, since 1984, more women die of heart disease each year in the United States than men. And every year in the United States, 9,000 women under the age of 45 have a heart attack. Unfortunately, heart attack symptoms often go unnoticed in women, resulting in sometimes dire consequences.

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

“Women are more likely to have atypical symptoms [of a heart attack] than men. Those could include something like heartburn or burning in the upper abdomen, fatigue, difficulty breathing, even nausea. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who don’t have any symptoms before their first heart attack.”

Typical heart attack symptoms in men may include crushing chest pain, tightness, or discomfort; pain may radiate to the arms, back, jaw, and neck. But women often experience only shortness of breath, lightheadedness or dizziness, or vague pain somewhere in the upper abdomen, arm, or neck.

Preventing a Heart Attack: What Women Can Do

The American Heart Association has a slogan: “Know your numbers.” Dr. Lawton explains that this is to encourage women to see their doctor and become more knowledgeable about their blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.

If your numbers are high (blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar), you need to work on getting them down and under control. This means exercising, quitting smoking if you smoke, and eating a healthy, low-fat diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables. Lowering your salt intake may help, too.

Heart Attack: Don’t Let Youth Fool You

Get checked!

For more go to http://www.everydayhealth.com

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