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A heart attack strikes someone about every 43 seconds. The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort but there are many other signs & symptoms that can occur. Many movies portray a person clutching their chest and immediately dropping to the floor but it doesn’t always happen to quickly in real life. In fact, people often do not realize they are even having a heart attack at all! Research has shown that people often equate the symptoms they are experiencing with acid reflux, gas pains, the flu, or normal aging.

It’s important to mention that if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms seek immediate medical attention. Aside from the chest pains & discomfort, the following symptoms can also occur: pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach; shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort; breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, lightheadedness; uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest or upper back.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women but it is preventable. Schedule an appointment with your physician to learn about your personal risk. You can also quit smoking, which will cut your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent. Another simple tip is to start an exercise regimen. Just walking 30 minutes a day can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke. Lastly, you can modify your diet and make changes for a healthier, longer life. Reference: www.heart.org

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