If your husband has chest pain, you rush him to the hospital.
However, many women would not recognize signs of heart attack in
Many people are unaware that heart attack symptoms in women can
be quite different from men's. In fact, most people don't have a plan of action
if faced with possible heart attack. Yet acting quickly is vitally
Heart disease has haunted generations of Robin Drummond's family. "I have a
family history of
heart disease on both sides," says the 55-year-old African-American and
resident of Hammond, La. "I've had uncles, aunts, and grandparents who've died
heart attacks and heart disease, and two of my mother's brothers died four
months apart. One had a heart attack in church, and four months later, one had
a heart attack in the post office."
When Drummond's father succumbed to heart disease...
"Getting immediate, appropriate care is the single most
important thing you can do to lessen the damage of a heart attack," says
Prediman K. Shah, MD, director of cardiology and atherosclerosis research at
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in New York City, in a news release.
Dial 911 for an ambulance. "Do not waste time trying to
reach your own doctor," says Shah. "Don't drive yourself or someone
else to the hospital ... don't call a cab."
Why? "Because within the first few hours after a heart
attack, there is a high risk of sudden fatal arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats),
and only ambulances with fire department personnel or paramedics are equipped
to revive you should your heart suddenly stop beating," says Shah.
"Remember, every minute of delay means more heart muscle is
damaged," he says. "When it comes to heart attack, time is
Symptoms of a Heart Attack -- in Both Men and Women:
Squeezing chest pain or pressure
Shortness of breath
Tightness in chest
Pain spreading to shoulders, neck, arm, or jaw
Feeling of heartburn or indigestion with or without nausea and