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Do You Know Your Signs?

Every 25 seconds, an American has a coronary event, and every minute, an American dies from one, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recognizing the symptoms of a heart attack can save your life, but did you know the symptoms are different for men and women?

If a heart attack occurs, time is muscle, and saving muscle can save your life. Recognizing the symptoms can be difficult because they
are different among men and women. Sometimes, symptoms can even present themselves weeks or months before a heart attack occurs. Consider the following information from the CDC.

Heart Attacks in Men

Half of men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no symptoms.

Many men experience chest discomfort that feels like pressure or squeezing and may come and go.

Men may also experience atypical symptoms such as shortness of breath, sweating or pain in the jaw.

Heart Attacks in Women

Two-thirds of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no symptoms.

Forty-three percent of women never experience chest pain or pressure.

Women often experience more atypical symptoms such as shortness of breath, sweating or pain in the jaw.

“People live in a state of denial — no one wants to believe they’re having a heart attack, especially women. If you have any symptoms, you should visit the Emergency Department," said Brad Commons, M.D., Emergency Medical Consultants and medical director of the
Emergency Department at Texas Health Harris Methodist Outpatient Center Burleson. "Even if nothing is found, no physician will ever question you for worrying about your health.”

If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911. To learn more about heart attacks and prevention, visit TexasHealth.org/Heart.

Fall/Winter 2011

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