One of the main barriers women experience when it comes to heart disease is getting the right diagnosis.

Learning all about the symptoms of heart disease in women is essential for your health and empowers you to be proactive in your care.

What to do if you think you’re having a heart attack

  • Call 911. Tell the dispatcher you are experiencing signs and symptoms of a heart attack. An ambulance will transport you to the closest hospital with emergency cardiac care facilities. DO NOT drive yourself or ask a friend to drive you to the hospital. Aside from the ability to treat and resuscitate should your condition worsen, professional emergency personnel know the proper facilities to take patients.
  • Chew and swallow with water one regular full-strength aspirin as soon as possible to prevent further blood clotting.
  • Be your own health advocate. Insist that the hospital staff takes your complaint seriously, does not make you wait, and gives you a thorough cardiac evaluation including an electrocardiogram (EKG) or echocardiogram and a blood test to check your cardiac enzyme levels.

Questions for your Doctor

Prepare to speak with your doctor by writing your questions down and bringing the list with you to your appointment. When the doctor answers your questions, be sure to write down their responses. It may be helpful to have someone with you in case you miss something or are overwhelmed. If things are not clear, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification!

  • When thinking about what to ask, consider the following:
  • Treatment options
  • Prescription medication
  • Surgical procedures
  • Testing and diagnosis

Roadmap to a Diagnosis

It’s important to know that no one diagnostic test can determine your risk of heart disease; often several tests are required. As your own health advocate, know the reasons and risks of each test, and don’t be reluctant to ask your healthcare provider or technician questions.

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Questions for your Doctor

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Heart disease diagnosis

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