• Cardiovascular

    Women’s Wellness: Understanding heart disease in women

woman making a heart shape with her hands
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 (AHA) has designated Feb. 2, 2018 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.

Cardiologist Dr. Amy Pollak, quoting statistics from AHA, says, "Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year. And 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented." Dr. Pollak adds that living a heart-healthy lifestyle and making simple changes can help lead to a cure.

Watch: Why Dr. Amy Pollak Wears Red

Journalists: Broadcast quality video with Dr. Pollak is in the downloads. 

Heart attack symptoms for women

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 health care provider for more information.Women's Wellness logo