What Women Need To Know About Heart Attacks

February 16, 2011 Updated Feb 16, 2011 at 6:41 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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February 16, 2011 Updated Feb 16, 2011 at 6:41 PM EDT

(WKBW/Cleveland Clinic) Heart disease is the number one killer of women, but only 13% of women consider it to be the greatest health problem they face. What should they be doing to protect themselves?

There are a number of uncontrollable factors that increase a woman's risk for heart disease, including age, a family history of heart disease, or previous heart attack, but there are plenty of risk factors doctors say you can do something about, that include keeping your cholesterol, blood pressure, weight and diabetes under control. Also, don't smoke, and women need to be aware of heart attack symptoms.

Dr. Leslie Co of the Cleveland Clinic says, "Some of the common symptoms include somebody sitting on your chest. You feel this heavy pressure, sometimes it goes up to your jaw, radiates up your left arm. Other people just feel shortness of breath or extreme fatigue. Some feel this chest pain that goes to your back".

Doctors urge women to seek help if they think they may be experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, saying it's important to be evaluated quickly.

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