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Women: Protect Your Heart

This post is shared courtesy of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

Fact: One in five American women will die from heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The good news? You can take small steps to improve your heart health every day. 

1. Eat a heart healthy diet. Choose low sodium and salt foods; limit foods that have trans fat, like pastries and fried food; and cut back on sugar. 

2. Manage your health conditions. Take your medicines as directed and get your blood pressure and cholesterol tested regularly. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar level on a regular basis. 

3. Get the facts about aspirin. Some people take aspirin every day to help prevent a heart attack or stroke, but it is not right for everyone. Ask your healthcare provider if you should use aspirin. 

4. Know the signs of a heart attack in women, including: 

• Heavy ache in your chest or back between your shoulder blades 

• Sharp pain in your upper body 

• Shortness of breath 

• Breaking out in a cold sweat 

• Unusual or unexplained tiredness 

• Feeling dizzy or light-headed 

• Feeling sick to your stomach While the most common symptom for both women and men is chest discomfort, you can have a heart attack without experiencing chest pain or pressure. 

Women are more likely to have other symptoms such as back pain, jaw pain, shortness of breath, indigestion, and nausea or vomiting. 

You may also join a clinical trial. Clinical trials help healthcare professionals learn about how women of different ages, disabilities, chronic health conditions, races and ethnic backgrounds respond to heart health treatments. Visit the FDA Office of Women’s Health Women in ClinicalTrials webpage to learn more about how you can participate in a clinical trial. 

Go to the FDA Office of Women's Health website to learn more about heart disease and what you can do to improve your heart health. This [insert observance or month] and beyond, protect your heart by making good heart health decisions!