Women don't recognize heart attack symptoms

I know it's stereotypical for men to be too macho to seek help when they need it -- especially when it comes to asking for directions and going to the doctor.

But today the shoe is on the other foot. It turns out women are just as guilty of not seeking help when they need it most.

As a recent study revealed, women who are hospitalized for a heart attack are 40 percent more likely to die than men. Know why? You guessed it! It's because most of them wait too long before going to the ER.

But here's the catch. Unlike men, who won't seek help unless you flat-out force them to, women don't seek help because they have no idea they're experiencing a heart attack.

That's because a heart attack doesn't always feel like the ones you see on TV or in the movies. Don't expect a sudden pain in the chest, and don't expect to drop to your knees and call out, "It's the big one."

Plenty of heart attacks come with no chest pain at all -- including 42 percent of all heart attacks in women and nearly a third of men. That means it's up to you to recognize the other warning signs, including a sudden pain or numbness in your jaw, arms, back, or stomach.

Also watch for any of these other signs, especially if they come on suddenly and without any obvious cause:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Cold sweat
  • Upper body discomfort

Men, it's time to turn the nagging tables. Share this list with all the women in your life -- and not just your wife. Your daughters and granddaughters are in just as much danger, if not more so. Women under 55 are even more likely to experience a heart attack without chest pain than older gals.

These women are so young it never even occurs to them that they're at risk in the first place -- which means they're all the more likely to ignore the signs and symptoms.

And this is one case where ignorance ain't bliss.