Heart disease is often thought of as more of a problem for men than women, but the truth is, more women than men die of heart disease each year. Getting regular checkups and learning all the factors that put you at risk can be life saving.

The most common heart attack symptoms in women is pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. But, chest pain is not always severe or even noticeable, other symptoms to look out for include:

  • Neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Fatigue

High cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity affect both men and women, but there are some other important risk factors that women should be aware of:

  • Metabolic syndrome – a combination of fat around your abdomen, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high triglycerides – has a greater impact on women than on men
  • Mental stress and depression
  • Smoking
  • Low levels of estrogen after menopause

The sooner you know and understand your risks, the sooner you can take steps to prevent. There are several lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of heart disease:

  • Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit or don’t start smoking
  • Eat a diet low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt



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