2 posts tagged “Elizabeth Banks”

How Heart Attack Warning Signs Differ in Women

Posted February 21st, 2012 by

A heart attack is unmistakable, right?  Not exactly.  And especially not if you’re a woman.

Elizabeth Banks in "Just a Little Heart Attack"

We kicked off February by recognizing National Wear Red Day and sharing a hilarious video created by actress Elizabeth Banks for American Heart Month.  In the short piece, a harried working mother begins having strange symptoms one morning, including tightness of the jaw, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, muscle pain and pressure on her chest.  Despite all of this, she remains more concerned about getting her husband and kids off to work and school, respectively.  Her son is the only one to recognize what’s going on, saying “Mom!  I think you’re having a heart attack.”

Part of 2012 Heart Month message is that the warning signs of a heart attack for women can be different than for men.  Unlike the stereotypical image of a man clutching his chest and falling down, heart attacks may appear less dramatic in women.  For example, a woman can experience a heart attack without severe chest pressure (“an elephant sitting on my chest”).  Also, women are somewhat more likely than men to report more subtle symptoms such as back or jaw pain, shortness of breath and nausea/vomiting.  The danger is that even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly.

The Key Statistic Behind This Year's American Heart Month

Would you be shocked to have a heart attack?  That’s what many women report – that they never thought it could happen to them.  As a result, they assume their discomfort must be something more routine like the flu, acid reflux or normal aging.  They also may downplay it in order to put their family’s needs first.  Don’t make this mistake.  A heart attack strikes someone every 34 seconds, and heart disease is the number one killer of women.  So if you think you or someone you love might be having a heart attack – even if the symptoms are subtle – don’t wait more than five minutes before calling 911.

Beyond knowing the warning signs, a little prevention (such as quitting smoking or walking just 30 minutes a day) goes a long way.  Learn your heart attack risk – as well as how you can lower it – with the American Heart Association’s Risk Calculator.


Wear Red Tomorrow for Women’s Heart Health

Posted February 2nd, 2012 by

Friday, February 3, 2012, Is National Wear Red Day

Did you know that heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined?  And that it’s largely preventable?

Now you do – and there’s something you can do about it.  Participate in National Wear Red Day® tomorrow, February 3, 2012.  Better yet, get your friends and co-workers to dig into their closets as well.  Together, you can make a vibrant, high-impact statement with your sea of red.

Another easy way to show your support is to “Like” the Go Red for Women page on Facebook.  Everyone who becomes a fan will receive a free red dress pin to wear every year for this important event.  Want to get inspired to do more?  Watch comedic actress Elizabeth Banks in the short film “Just a Little Heart Attack” below.

Learn more about the risks of heart disease in women here.  And if you’ve already been diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition – such as cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease or valvular heart disease – don’t go it alone.  Join PatientsLikeMe to share and learn with others like you.

National Wear Red Day® is a registered trademark of the American Heart Association and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).