(by Dr. Joseph Szczytowski)
February 1st was National Wear Red Day. The Red Dress Campaign started in 2002 to raise heart attack awareness in women. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, and women may experience different cardiac symptoms than men. The focus of the Red Dress campaign is to share the specific symptoms women report. A study completed by the National Institute of Health titled “Women’s Early Warning Symptoms of AMI” reported the following information from women who experienced Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI):
Out of 515 women, 95% reported new or different symptoms a month or more before their cardiac incident.
The symptoms reported before having a heart attack include:
- Unusual Fatigue – 70%
- Sleep Disturbance – 48%
- Shortness of Breath – 42%
- Indigestion – 39%
- Anxiety – 35%
The symptoms reported during a heart attack include:
- Shortness of Breath – 58%
- Weakness – 55%
- Unusual Fatigue – 43%
- Cold Sweat – 39%
- Dizziness – 39%
Less than 30% of the women in this study reported chest pain prior, and 43% never had chest pain.
Be aware of your body and seek immediate medical assistance for all medical emergencies including AMI. Time matters.