MHP Highlights Women's Unique Heart Attack Symptoms
After the recent announcement that Rosie O’Donnell suffered a heart attack last week, Mahaska Health Partnership saw an opportunity to alert women of the unique signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
Rosie O’Donnell told fans she didn’t realize she was having a heart attack last week because the symptoms were not the ‘classic’ ones commonly cautioned about. O’Donnell experienced an aching chest, sore arms and felt like her entire body was bruised.
“The symptoms of a heart attack can differ between men and women,” said Family Nurse Practitioner Tina Main, ARNP-C. “If you have any suspicion that you may be having a heart attack, you should call 911.”
The best way to survive a heart attack is to learn to recognize the symptoms. The most common signs of a heart attack in both men and women are:
• Unusually heavy pressure on the chest, like there’s a ton of weight on you
• Sharp upper body pain in the neck, back and jaw (this is a more common symptom for women than men)
• Severe shortness of breath
• Unexplained or excessive sweating (or for women, breaking out in a cold sweat, and you know it’s not menopause)
• Unusual or unexplained tiredness
• Unfamiliar dizziness or light-headedness
• Unexplained nausea or vomiting (women are twice as likely as men to experience these symptoms during a heart attack)
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention program says that if you or someone you know experiences symptoms of a heart attack for more than five minutes, call 911.
“Even if symptoms disappear in less than five minutes, you should still call your healthcare provider right away,” shared Main. “It could be a sign that a heart attack is on its way.”