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Symptoms of heart attack in women include:
    • Pressure, fullness, tightness or chest pain lasting 5 minutes or longer.
    • Constant, indigestion-like discomfort.
    • Chest pain that moves to your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or back.
    • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, sweating or nausea/ vomiting.
    • Unexplained shortness of breath.
    • Unexplained anxiety, weakness or tiredness.
    • Palpitations, a cold sweat or paleness.
    • Sudden, racing heart sensation with a very fast pulse.
    • Inability to perform household chores.
    • Extreme fatigue and sleeplessness

If you believe you could be having a heart attack, call 911 immediately and ask to be taken to the nearest Novant Health emergency department.

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Heart attack symptoms in women are often different from men

“I wasn’t short of breath; I wasn’t bent over with chest pains,” said Dana Jones, a Novant Health heart attack patient. “Nothing but my arm hurt. I would have never thought I was having a heart attack.”

"Go Red for Women is about having women take steps to make a change, even if it’s a small change. If necessary lifestyle changes are implemented, 80% of cardiac events can be prevented," said Sarah Fedele, director of communications and marketing for the American Heart Association’s Triad region.

To prevent early heart disease, follow these steps:

  • Eat healthy and get active.
  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Drink in moderation if you drink alcohol.
  • Take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Manage stress.