Cardiovascular disease is very common in women. The warning signals of heart attack include:

• Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the 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.

• Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. However, women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain, such as:

• Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort.

• Shortness of breath.

• Pain in one or both arms.

• Nausea or vomiting.

• Sweating.

• Lightheadedness or dizziness.

• Unusual fatigue.

In presence of any of the above one should not wait for more than five minutes and get to a hospital right away.

More than 80% of cardiac events in women can be prevented by modifying diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking.

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