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U.S. Gov: Learn The Signs Of Heart Attacks In Women

When you think of someone having a heart attack, you might picture a middle-aged man rubbing his arm and then clutching his chest, gasping in pain. But women suffering heart attacks generally don't exhibit those same symptoms.

Because February is American Heart Month, take some time to learn the signs of heart attacks in women as well as what you can do to prevent them with these tips from the Federal Citizen Information Center.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in America in part because women don't recognize the signs of a heart attack. Instead of sharp pain in the chest, women might experience a heavy feeling or tightness instead.

Other signs of heart disease in women include trouble breathing, an upset stomach or pain between the shoulders.

None of those signs are as evident as the striking chest pain men experience.

So women have to be extra vigilant, and if they experience these symptoms, they should go to the doctor right away.

High blood pressure can be a cause of heart disease, so it's important to monitor your blood pressure. If it's higher than 140/90, you may require treatment, which can come in the form of medicine or changes to your diet and exercise habits.

You can make lifestyle changes to lower your risk of heart disease. Gradually increase your activity level. You can chose from a variety of activities, from walking to dance classes or swimming laps in the pool. Pick something you'll enjoy so you'll stick with it. Check for ideas.

When it comes to dietary changes, follow your doctor's recommendations. Pay close attention to food labels so you know just what you're eating and visit to get tips for sticking with your healthy eating plan. In general, make sure you're including lots of fruits and vegetables and limit the amount of processed food you eat.

Using these tips from the Federal Citizen Information Center, you can keep your heart healthy and identify any dangerous signs that might need medical attention.


The Federal Citizen Information Center connects people with government benefits, services and information through its family of websites, including,, and; by phone at 1 (800) FED-INFO (that's 1 (800) 333-4636) and with publications by mail from Pueblo, Colorado. FCIC is part of the U.S. General Services Administration's Office of Citizen Services.


Comments welcome.


Posted on January 25, 2011

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