For Your Family: Women and Heart Health

February 22, 2010 4:27:48 AM PST
Every woman should know how to prevent heart disease and improve heart health!

So many people still believe the misconception that heart disease is a man's disease, when in fact, it is the number one killer of women. This Friday, the american heart Association is hosting its annual "Go Red" campaign in Chicago.

ABC7's Judy Hsu will be hosting a panel of experts, including Dr. Annabelle Bvolgman, the medical director of the "Heart Center For Women" at Rush.

Misconception number one: it's a man's disease. But also a misconception is that this only affects older women.

Heart disease facts:

  • 1 in 30 American women die of breast cancer
  • 1 in 3 women die from acrdiovascular disease
  • 90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease


    1. Know your numbers, get to your goal of blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and glucose

    2. Being active decreases all your health risks

    3. Healthy nutrition keeps the weight down and helps with feeling good

    4. Stress level needs to be monitored since it can cause many health issues

    5. Drink plenty of water

    Here are some signs a heart attack may be happening:

  • Chest discomfort. 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 other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. This feeling may occur with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs of discomfort. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
  • If you or someone you are with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, don't wait longer than five minutes before calling 9-1-1 for help.

    Stroke Warning Signs

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
  • Not all these warning signs occur in every stroke. If you or someone with you has one or more stroke symptoms that last more than a few minutes, don't delay! Immediately call 9-1-1 or the EMS number so an ambulance (ideally with advanced life support) can quickly be sent to you.
  • Also, check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared. It's very important to take immediate action. If given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke.

    Chicago Go Red For Women Luncheon
    8:30am -- 2:00pm
    Fee: Please call the American Heart Association for information.
    The Palmer House Hilton
    17 East Monroe Street
    Chicago, IL 60603