Alert
Close

Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Join the Drive to End Hunger!

HIGHLIGHTS

Close
America's Winter Escapes Sweepstakes
Introducing RealPad by AARP
You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Am I Having a Heart Attack?

Some signs are surprising — especially for women

Dinner Can Wait

Heart experts say one reason so many women die is that they often don't heed their symptoms. They may attribute their symptoms to hot flashes, flu, something they ate or their age. When they do realize something might be wrong, they delay getting treatment.

"Women don't call 911," says Sharonne Hayes, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic.

In fact, a 2009 American Heart Association survey found that only half of women say they would call 911 if they thought they might be having a heart attack. "They worry, 'What will the neighbors think?' or 'I've got to finish fixing dinner for my husband,' " Hayes says.

"Women don't call 911. They worry, 'What will the neighbors think?' or 'I've got to finish fixing dinner for my husband.'"

And women are more likely to consult with friends or call the family doctor, which Hayes says can cause a dangerous delay.

Studies also show that women who are diagnosed with a heart attack are more likely to have come to the hospital in a private car.

When people arrive at a hospital by ambulance, they usually get faster treatment, Hayes says.

"Patients should not be sitting at home trying to diagnose a heart attack," Hayes says. "They could die doing that."

Cardiologist Gordon Tomaselli says that often after people have a heart attack, they realize in retrospect they had symptoms days or weeks earlier that they didn't recognize — such as extreme fatigue or throat pain.

But as many as a quarter of all heart attack victims have a heart attack as a first symptom of heart disease.

Elizabeth Agnvall is a contributing editor with the AARP Bulletin.

Remember to go to the AARP home page every day for tips on keeping healthy and sharp, and great deals.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Video Extra

Learn how to do CPR on an unresponsive victim and how to use an AED (automatic external defibrilator).

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Reading eyeglasses eyemed 6 membership benefit health

Members save 25% on orders of $200 or more and get 25% off lens upgrades at glasses.com.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points