Patricia Butts, First Lady of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church, has written these rap lyrics to help women remember the seven signs of a woman's heart attack (check out the slide show) -- not the same as for a man. Once you learn the lyrics and catch the beat there's great cardio choreography to go with them from dayofdance.org.
More than 80,000 people participated in past year's Day of Dance. Doctors, nurses, patients, and health care workers have produced and posted smashingly fun YouTube video performances in more than 78 facilities around the U.S. For example, click here to catch Gulf Coast Medical's performance of "Don't Miss a Beat Call 911."
Feb. 25, 2012 is this year's Day of Dance for Health. Will Ellen DeGeneres give it a try? She's still got 17 days to bust the moves.
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. and among women. Every 90 seconds, a woman in the U.S. has a heart attack. Every year 785,000 people have their first heart attack. In 2010, heart disease cost Americans an estimated $316.4 billion.
But the cost of heart disease is not only financial; missing timely treatment of heart attack causes infirmity, which drains quality of life from American families. Eileen Dreczka of Sheboygan, Wisc. is a WomenHeart member. She recently told a Yale Heart Study colleague of mine that she was misdiagnosed with pneumonia, later to find out she had congestive heart failure. Dreczka "doesn't want this to happen to anyone else," and allowed us to share her story.
According Suzanne Haynes, Ph.D., Senior Science Advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, these are the seven signs of heart attack for women.
- Unusually heavy pressure on the chest, like there's a ton of weight on you
- Sharp upper body pain in the neck, back, and jaw
- Severe shortness of breath
- Cold sweats, and you know it's not menopause
- Unusual or unexplained fatigue (tiredness)
- Unfamiliar dizziness or light-headedness
- Unexplained nausea (feeling sick to the stomach) or vomiting
Now let's take it from the top -- one, two, three, four:
If you know the symptoms and get the facts
You'll know the signs of a heart attack.
Women, listen to me and when I'm done
If it sounds familiar, call 911
Pain in your chest, neck, arms or jaw
Shortness of breath, please tell us more
Cold sweats and nausea, tiredness
it's time to take it serious.
Back pain, Stomach pain, shortness of breath
Cold sweats, nausea, dizziness.
If you know the symptoms and heed the signs
You'll be around for a long, long time
Women, listen to me and when I'm done
If any sound familiar, call 911.
911, 911, 911...
See you tomorrow!
Most heart attacks feel like there's a 1 ton weight on the center or left side of the chest. It usually lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. It may even feel like heartburn or indigestion. Image used with permission from Women'sHealth.gov
Pain in the back, neck, or jaw is a more common heart attack symptom for women than it is for men. This symptom can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or upper part of stomach (not below the belly button). Image used with permission from Women'sHealth.gov
This symptom can come on suddenly. It may occur while you are at rest or with minimal physical activity. You may struggle to breathe or try taking deep breaths. Shortness of breath may start before or at the same time as chest pain or discomfort, and can even be your only symptom. Image used with permission from Women'sHealth.gov
Unexplained or excessive sweating, or breaking out into a "cold sweat," and you know it's not menopause. Image used with permission from Women'sHealth.gov
Sudden and unusual tiredness or lack of energy is one of the most common symptoms of heart attack in women, and one of the easiest to ignore. It can come on suddenly or be present for days. More than half of women having a heart attack experience muscle tiredness or weakness that is not related to exercise. Image used with permission from Women'sHealth.gov
Unlike in the movies, most heart attacks do not make you pass out right away. Instead, you may suddenly feel dizzy or light-headed. Image used with permission from Women'sHealth.gov
Women are twice as likely as men to experience nausea, vomiting, or indigestion during their heart attack. These feelings are often written off as having a less serious cause. Remember, nausea and vomiting may be signs that something is seriously wrong, especially if you have other symptoms. Image used with permission from Women'sHealth.gov
Please take a few minutes to visit the Yale Heart Study site and complete the heart attack survivors survey or forward it to someone you know who has survived a heart attack.
Disclosure: Suzanne O'Malley is a Senior Research Associate for the non-profit NIH-funded Yale Heart Study, a Faculty member of the Yale Writers' Conference & Associate/Director of Yale Summer Film Institute.
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