Heart disease is the number one killer of women. While both men and women are affected by heart disease, the warning signs and symptoms can be quite different.

The American Heart Association has designated Feb 2 as National Wear Red Day to bring attention to this deadly disease and increase women’s awareness about their risk for heart disease and stroke.

Dr Amy Pollak, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic on the Florida campus in the United States, says one in three women die each year of heart disease and stroke, and 80% of cardiac events can be prevented. She says living a heart-healthy lifestyle and making simple changes can be the cure.

The most common heart attack symptom in women is some type of pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. But it’s not always severe, or even the most prominent symptom, particularly in women. And sometimes, women may have a heart attack without chest pains.

Women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain, such as:

> Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back, or abdominal discomfort
> Shortness of breath
> Right arm pain
> Nausea or vomiting
> Sweating
> Lightheadedness or dizziness
> Unusual fatigue

If you have questions, see your healthcare provider for more information. – Mayo Clinic News Network/Tribune News Service