February is National Heart Month. If you're a man, chances are you've heard about the risk of heart disease and if you're over 50 you're watching out for any signs of heart trouble. But women need to listen up because since 1984 more women have died from heart attacks than men. That's because many women just don't realize they're at risk. Today, cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer of American women. Among women ages 35 to 70, 81 percent are at risk of a heart attack but only 25 percent are aware of it.
Even First Lady Laura Bush is doing her part to educate women about preventing heart disease in a new campaign called Heart Truth. "One of the reasons that women, that more women than men die of heart disease, is that women don' really know what the symptoms of a heart attack are, and because they think of heart disease as a man's disease, they don't go straight to the emergency room, if they are suffering any symptoms
For women, early symptoms can be different from men and include:
+ Discomfort in the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back
+ Pain or discomfort in one or both arm, back, neck, jaw or stomach
+ Shortness of breath
+Nausea or lightheadedness
Five hundred thousand women die from heart disease each year, more than from all forms of cancer combined. Today, cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer of American women.