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Wed February 5, 2014

February 7 is National Wear Red Day and the DuPage County Health Department is taking this opportunity to raise awareness about heart disease being the #1 killer among women.

Heart disease is now affecting more women than men and in general, heart attacks are more severe in women than in men.

Women should be aware that heart attack symptoms may be different than those experienced by men. Women tend to feel a burning sensation in their upper abdomen and may experience lightheadedness, an upset stomach, and sweating. Because they may not feel the typical pain in the left half of their chest, many women ignore their symptoms and do not even realize they are experiencing a heart attack.

In addition to being aware of common symptoms of a heart attack, women are encouraged to learn and take steps to help prevent heart disease altogether. Use these tips to lower your risk of suffering a heart attack:

  • Get up and get active by being physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
  • Ask your doctor if you should take an aspirin every day.
  • Find out if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, and if you do, get effective treatment.
  • If you smoke, get help to quit.
  • Make your calories count by eating a heart-healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans fat.
  • Take control of your heart health by following your doctor's prescription instructions.

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