Women Urged to Heed Heart Attack Warning Signs

CLEBURNE, Texas — What is the leading killer of women? Most people guess breast cancer, but cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death.

Heart disease occurs at a rate of nearly double that of all cancers, according to the American Heart Association. Nearly 39 percent of female deaths in the United States are from cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

To help women get more exercise, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne invites women to come to the hospital on Friday, Feb. 6, for a free heart walk. The walk will be held at 7:30 a.m., noon and 2:30 p.m. Interested walkers should park behind the hospital and meet at the back door of the facility. Individuals also may get their blood pressure checked for free at the walk.

“Women in particular often spend most of their time worrying about the health of their family,” said Ronda Dillard, R.N., an occupational health nurse at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne. “It is important not to ignore warning signs and to take steps to improve your health before a medical crisis occurs.”

Heart attacks usually don’t start with symptoms like the movies portray, an older man gripping his heart and then collapsing. Instead, heart attacks typically start with mild pain that can easily be dismissed.

The American Heart Association (AHA) says that symptoms include:

  • Chest discomfort that lasts more than a few minutes, but feels like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain
  • Discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness

Women are more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, vomiting or back and jaw pain than men, the AHA says.

To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, the AHA recommends that people control any high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.

For more information, visit http://www.choosetomove.org/.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne, is a 137-bed acute-care, full-service medical center serving Cleburne and the Johnson County area since 1986. The hospital's services include surgery, women and infant services, urology, orthopedics and ear, nose and throat care. Texas Health Cleburne has been recently recognized for the Texas Health Care Quality Improvement award from TMF, the 2007 Premier/Carescience Select Practice National Quality Award and the 2007 Premier Award for Quality for Heart Failure. For more information, please call 1-877-THR-WELL.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospitals, Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospitals, and a medical research organization. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health, visit www.texashealth.org.