The most common symptom of a heart attack for women is pain, pressure, or discomfort in the chest. This pain is not always significant or severe, especially in women. Sometimes, women may even have a heart attack without experiencing any initial chest pain at all. In fact, women are more likely to experience signs and symptoms that are completely unrelated to chest pain. The signs and symptoms that women may experience prior to a heart attack include:
· Nausea or vomiting
· Shortness of breath
· Dizziness or lightheadedness
· Unusual fatigue
· Discomfort in the jaw, neck, jaw, abdomen, shoulder, or upper back
· Pain in the right arm
How can women lower their risk for heart disease? The best way for women to reduce their risk for heart disease includes making changes to your diet and lifestyle. This includes:
· Eat a healthy diet (i.e. low in salt, saturated fat, and cholesterol)
· Maintain a healthy weight. A normal or healthy weight is a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9.
· Stay physically active. Get at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day on most days of the week. If you are overweight and need to lose weight, aim for 60 to 90 minutes.
· Avoid smoking, or quit smoking if you already do.