Women and Heart Patient Education

Learn About Heart Health

Deaconess and The Heart Group want to help you be heart healthy.  Women and Heart has a variety of education programs to get you started.  Explore our site to find events and information about healthy eating, exercise, and understanding heart health. You'll find resources and health articles that help you learn more about heart disease and related conditions and steps you can take that can lead to better health.

Be Prepared

Studies have shown that women may have undiagnosed warning signs weeks, months, and even years before having a heart attack. Know the warning signs and always call 911 within 5 minutes of the onset of symptoms. By acting quickly, a heart attack victim is less likely to experience cardiac arrest (where the heart stops beating).

Know the Warning Signs:

  • Chest discomfort that feels like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.  Discomfort may last for a few minutes or come and go.
  • Upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath that may occur with or without chest discomfort
  • Other signs such as unusual fatigue, dizziness, fainting, vomiting and cold sweats
  • Feelings of anxiety or weakness, unexplained or with strenuous activity

Women experience common symptoms such as chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely than men to experience other common symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Take Action

If you are having heart attack warning signs, take action! WomenHeart, The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease provides the following guidelines to women that have symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Call 911 within minutes of the start of symptoms. Tell the operator you think you are having a heart attack.  Even if your symptoms stop completely in less than 5 minutes, call your doctor.
  • Do not drive yourself or let family and friends drive you to the hospital. Emergency personnel can begin treating you on the way to the hospital.
  • Chew and swallow one regular full-strength aspirin with water as soon as possible to prevent blood clotting.
  • At the hospital, make it clear that you are having symptoms of a heart attack. Ask for a compete cardiac evaluation, including an electrocardiogram (EKG) and a cardiac enzyme blood test.
  • If you are waiting too long, tell them again that you are experiencing heart attack symptoms.