MLWAUKEE — Friday, Feb. 4, is National Wear Red Day, and one local doctor is focusing on the importance of identifying the warning signs of heart attacks in women.
“National Wear Red Day helps draw awareness to cardiovascular disease, and this year I’m emphasizing the unique warning signs women may feel if they are having a heart attack,” said Dr. Nicole Lohr, cardiologist with the Milwaukee VA Medical Center.
A 2018 study found that among adults 55 and younger, women may be more likely than men to experience lesser-known acute heart attack symptoms in addition to chest pain. And more than half of the doctors seeing women who seek care for those symptoms, prior to hospitalization, might not even realize the symptoms are heart-related, the study suggests.
National statistics show one person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease, equating to about 659,000 people a year – that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
The most frequent symptom of a heart attack is chest pain. But symptoms also include shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness, according to the American Heart Association. Other symptoms include uncomfortable pressure, tightness or pain above the waist.
Patients who get immediate care for a heart attack are statistically shown to have a much higher survival rate, underscoring the importance of knowing the signs and symptoms.