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Campaign Aims to Educate Women About Symptoms of Heart Attack
AAFP Supports HHS Initiative That Stresses Timely Treatment
By News Staff
"Second, they need to call 911 when they have symptoms. Women are less likely to get timely care. Their reactions in calling for an ambulance or going to an emergency room are delayed. As we know, delays result in poorer outcomes."
Know the Symptoms
- chest pain, discomfort, pressure or squeezing;
- shortness of breath;
- light-headedness or sudden dizziness;
- unusual upper body pain, or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach;
- unusual fatigue; and
- breaking out in a cold sweat.
AAFP Helps You Manage Your Patients With Heart Disease
To help you keep your clinical skills at their sharpest, American Family Physician's new AFP By Topic feature includes a collection of up-to-date journal articles and other evidence-based resources on coronary artery disease/coronary heart disease (some content is available to members/paid subscribers only).
The Academy also offers a number of resources to help educate patients about heart disease and how to avoid it. FamilyDoctor.org's Heart Disease and Heart Attacks: What Women Need to Know Web page discusses how to recognize heart attack symptoms and what women can do to lower their heart attack risk. The page also links to other FamilyDoctor.org pages on heart disease and related conditions, as well as to other relevant organizations' websites.
Know the Risks
The agency said that 90 percent of heart disease patients have at least one of the following risk factors:
- high cholesterol,
- high blood pressure,
- cigarette smoking,
- overweight and obesity,
- poor diet,
- physical inactivity, and
- alcohol use.
The HHS campaign focuses on knowing the symptoms of a heart attack and educating women about what they should do if they have one. Heim said family physicians should deliver that important message, but the conversation also should include advice about prevention.
"Let's try to prevent heart attacks in the first place," she said. "Tell your patients, 'Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, so if you want to lower your risk, let's talk about things like smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol and exercise.'"
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