Posted: 2/4/2013 5:29 PM by
Interim HealthCare

Heart failure and heart disease are a critical health issue for any adult. More than 26 million adults in the U.S. suffer from heart disease, and it is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Despite this, all too often heart disease is still thought of something that affects men more often than women. February is American Heart Month, a great time to not only raise awareness about heart disease, but also to educate women about the signs of a heart attack and ways to reduce their risk.


While crushing pain in the chest is thought of as the most common sign of a heart attack, women more often experience other types of pain when they are having a heart attack. The common symptoms for women include:

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

Risks factors for heart disease in women are the same as they are for men—alcohol, high cholesterol, diabetes, diet, heredity, high blood pressure, obesity, physical inactivity and smoking—but women also are affected more by other factors, too:

  • Metabolic syndrome (a combination of fat around your abdomen, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high triglycerides)
  • Mental stress and depression
  • Low levels of estrogen after menopause

Women can lower their risk of heart disease by making the following changes:

  • Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day on most days of the week.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Quit or don’t start smoking.
  • Eat a diet that’s low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt.
  • Take prescribed medications appropriately.
  • Manage other conditions that are risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.


If you suffer from heart disease, you may need help performing daily tasks, making healthy changes in your diet and reminders about medications. Interim HealthCare can provide the support you need with Personal Care & Support services at home. We can customize a program to suit your own specific needs.