February marks American Heart Month, a dedicated period urging everyone, particularly women, to prioritize and focus on their cardiovascular health.

In the U.S., women are facing preventable heart-related illnesses and fatalities. Nearly half of U.S. women are unaware that heart disease stands as the foremost cause of death among women.

Women may not exhibit the typical warning signs of a heart attack, with symptoms often appearing as mild chest discomfort or resembling common illnesses like the flu. Recognizing these signs is crucial to avoid overlooking a potential heart attack.

Recognize the Warning Signs

Understanding that these signs may present differently in women, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms.

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest persisting for more than a few minutes or recurring.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, with or without accompanying chest discomfort.
  • Additional indicators like breaking out in a cold sweat, experiencing nausea, or feeling lightheaded.
  • Similar to men, the most prevalent heart attack symptom in women is chest pain or discomfort. However, women may also encounter other symptoms less commonly associated with heart attacks, such as shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Prioritize your Health

Preventing heart disease is largely within reach. Take the time to take care of yourself in order to foster a healthy lifestyle.

  • Take a step towards better heart health by scheduling a consultation with your healthcare provider to assess your risk for heart disease.
  • Quit smoking. Within just one year of quitting, you can slash your chances of developing coronary heart disease by 50%.
  • Strive for a minimum of 150 minutes per week engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic activities like brisk walking or opt for 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercises such as jogging. Consider incorporating muscle-strengthening activities, like resistance or weight training, at least twice a week for added benefits.
  • Make adjustments to your family’s dietary habits as necessary. Explore these practical healthy cooking tips for clever substitutions, wholesome snack ideas, and improved preparation methods.