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Women and Heart Attack Symptoms

Dr. Rupa Puttappa, a cardiology specialist at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, says that reducing the risk of heart disease in women begins with understanding the factors that can lead to a heart attack. These include age, heredity, history of a previous heart attack, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, stress, high triglyceride levels, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Many women don’t recognize these warning signs of heart attack:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Cold sweats
  • Dizziness
  • Pain or pressure in the back, high chest, or one or both arms
  • Discomfort in the chest that may be described as pressure, aching, or tightness and may come and go
  • A burning sensation in the chest or upper abdomen
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea

Dr. Puttappa says there are several lifestyle changes women can make to reduce their risk of heart disease.

“Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, maintain a healthy weight, quit or don’t start smoking, and eat a diet that’s low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt,” she suggests. “Also, be sure you take prescribed medications, such as cholesterol-lowering medication, appropriately.”

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