What are the signs of a heart attack in women?

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

I have Asthma. How can I prevent triggering an attack?

Every person has a unique set of conditions that worsens their asthma.  However, common triggers include mold, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, food, anxiety, strong odors, weather changes, chemicals, cockroaches, exercise, acid reflux, smoke, and the common cold.  Your personal triggers should be identified and discussed with your doctor.

I smoke and have a child. Am I putting her in danger?

Unfortunately, yes.  Tobacco smoke has proven to contain 4,000 chemicals, including at least 200 known poisons.  Countless studies have demonstrated a causation relationship between secondhand smoke and certain diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease.  Furthermore, other research has shown that children under two years of age that inhale secondhand smoke on a regular basis have much higher rates of bronchitis and pneumonia when compared to babies with nonsmoking parents.  Your child just provides one more reason for you to kick the habit! Join the 45 million Americans that have stopped smoking by resisting the next urge to lite up.

What is Peripheral Arterial Disease [PAD]?

PAD results from a buildup of plaque in arteries that narrows blood vessels and decreases blood flow.  It is most commonly seen in the legs and affects approximately 8 to 12 million people a year.  Similar to other disease, timely detection of PAD improves prognosis.

What are the symptoms of PAD?

Common symptoms include cramping and fatigue of the leg muscles, soreness of the feet or legs, blueness of leg skin, pain in legs, different temperatures in legs (ie: one leg is warmer than the other), and poor nail and hair growth on feet and legs.  However, most people with PAD do not experience any symptoms, so routine screening of cholesterol is recommended.

What are the risk factors and how is it detected?

Risk factors include being over the age of 50, a history of smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, history of vascular disease, high cholesterol, and being of African American and/or Hispanic descent.  Your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask about your symptoms.  If deemed necessary, an Ankle Brachial Index Screening test or an diagnostic ultrasound may be used to confirm the presence or absence of PAD.

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