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Friday, 27 May 2011

Do you need to worry about having a heart attack?

We would like to thank our first contributor to our blog, Cherie Skager, Vice President of Education and Outreach at The Hope Heart Institute.  She will share vital information on heart health, especially as it relates to women.  We look forward to her future posts and the information she has to share with us! 

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and responding quickly can save your life.

If you are like me (and 90% of all women), you have one or more risk factors for heart disease. I am thrilled to join this health blog to provide information about improving your heart health. For this first post, let’s focus on what to do if you or a loved one is experiencing a heart attack. Don’t think it can happen to you? Think again.

Every 90 seconds, a woman in the United States has a heart attack

More than 10,000 women younger than 45 have a heart attack every year

Heart disease is the single leading cause of death for American women

Common symptoms of a heart attack may include pain in the chest, arms, back, neck,or stomach; shortness of breath; cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness. Women can experience symptoms of heart attack differently, and often report flu-like symptoms with no chest pain. Many women who have had heart attacks reported that they felt 'unusual'.

Seeking immediate medical assistance can mean the difference between life and death. The sad reality is that women take 2-4 hours longer than men to respond to symptoms of heart attack. In a recent health survey, only 53% of women said they would call 9-1-1 if they were experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. The rest said that they would call a friend or drive themselves to the ER, thus delaying treatment. (Remember - treatment works best if given within 1 hour of when heart attack symptoms begin.)

If you experience heart attack symptoms or think you're having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately. Don't drive yourself to the emergency room. You know your body better than anyone. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to call 9-1-1.

Cherie Skager, MA, MNPL
Vice President of Education and Outreach
The Hope Heart Institute
1380 112th Ave NE Suite 200
Bellevue, WA 98004
Office:  425.456.8741
Fax: 425.456.8701

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