by Lisa Mildon

Did you know February is American Heart Month? No, it’s not because of Valentine’s Day this month. In 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson designated February as American Heart Month to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease. For women, this month is even more significant. Because women’s symptoms of heart issues often get overlooked, in 2004, the American Heart Association began an initiative to raise awareness for women’s heart health with their Go Red for Women campaign.

The Go Red campaign is actually an acronym to help mindfulness with heart disease and women. 

G: Get your numbers.

This reminds you to talk to your doctor about important counts such as blood pressure and cholesterol.

O: Own your lifestyle.

A reminder to live a healthier lifestyle by maintaining a healthy weight, keeping active, and eating healthy.

R: Realize your risk.

A reminder that heart disease is prevalent in women. Keep informed and mindful of risks.

E: Educate your family.

Teach your family about healthy life choices, as mentioned above.

D: Don’t be silent.

Spread the word about heart disease in women to every woman you know. Let them know that this is a woman’s #1 killer.

Pixabay/Gordon Johnson

Despite 1 in every 5 women die from heart disease in the United States, women’s symptoms of heart issues, including heart attacks, are often overlooked, even by doctors. This is because women and men can have vastly different symptoms when experiencing a heart attack. Below can be signs and symptoms of a heart attack in women:

  1. Pressure, squeezing, or fullness in the center of your chest. It can last a few minutes or ebbs and flows.
  2. Pain in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath that can be accompanied with or without chest pain\discomfort.
  4. Cold sweats, lightheadedness, or nausea.

However, chest pain or discomfort is the most common sign. But women more frequently experience other symptoms as well.

If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 and get to an ER immediately.

If you’d like more information or would like to get involved in the Go Red for Women campaign, visit The American Heart Association website for more details.