It’s Happy Heart Month!
Not only is it Valentine’s Day this month, it’s also American Heart Month! So while you are searching for just the right card or gift for that special person in your life, remember to show yourself some love too. Maybe the best gift to give and receive is a heart healthy lifestyle.
Q. I’ve heard that heart attacks and the associated signs are different in women than in men. What are the signs to watch out for? ……………………………………...Jason, S
A: Symptoms of heart attacks can be very subtle. While some heart attacks are sudden and intense, most start with mild pain or discomfort. Unfortunately, women are less likely than men to think they are having a heart attack, even though they account for half of all attack victims.
Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. Discomfort in the upper body, in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort. Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. Women are more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Studies have shown that 95% of women knew their symptoms were new or different physical symptoms as long as a month or more before experiencing heart attacks. The symptoms most commonly reported were unusual fatigue, sleep disturbance, shortness of breath, indigestion and anxiety. Fewer than 30% reported having chest pains or discomfort prior to the heart attacks and 43% reported no chest pain during any phase of the attack.
Heart disease is the number one killer in the US, for women as well as men. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the #1 killer of women, surpassing all forms of cancer combined. Unfortunately, 64% of women who die suddenly because of coronary artery disease had no previous symptoms.
Prevention is the key to heading off serious heart related conditions. Studies have shown that walking three hours a week can reduce the risk by thirty to forty percent, while walking more than 5 hours could reduce it as much as 50 percent. Fear not, even a little exercise is better than nothing.
So when you choose your card for that special lady (or man) be sure to include your hand made certificate promising to be more active together!
Have a question, or is there something you’ve always wondered about. Ask Madalyn invites your questions.
- Wednesday, 08 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Ask Madalyn