Did you know that heart disease is the nation’s No. 1 cause of death in women?  According to the American Heart Association (AHA), cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of women over age 25, and accounts for death in twice as many women in the United States as breast and all types of cancer. But reportedly only 13 percent of women consider heart disease a threat to their health.

Now that I know more about how heart disease affects women, I want to help raise awareness.  Hot Mama Daily readers can join me and other women across the country by wearing red on Friday, Feb. 6, National Wear Red Day. Another way to get involved is to take a picture (see the photo of me in red to the left) and share it with other supporters by posting it on www.flickr.com with the tag “WearRedDay.”

If you have a personal story to share, go to  www.GoRedForWomen.org and tell others how you’ve dealt with heart disease and the choices you’ve made to beat it.  From the AHA, here are the major heart attack warning signs:

  • Chest discomfort.  Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. 
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. 
  • Shortness of breath. This feeling may occur with or without chest discomfort. 
  • Other signs of discomfort include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness. 
  • The most common heart attack symptom for men and women is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. 
  • If you or someone you’re with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, don’t wait longer than five minutes before calling 9-1-1 for help.

For more information and to receive a free red dress pin, go to www.GoRedForWomen.org.

Image credits: American Heart Association, John Carluccio