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Make the Call. Don't Miss a Beat. National Campaign to Raise Awareness of Heart Attacks Among Women

February 8, 2013

A woman suffers a heart attack every minute in the United States. Yet only half of women say they would call 9-1-1 if they thought they were having a heart attack, and many women didn't recognize several key symptoms, according to a 2009 American Heart Association survey. Heart disease takes an especially heavy toll on Hispanic women. It is the number one killer of that group in the United States. Knowing the symptoms is essential to calling 9-1-1 and preventing this.

That's why the Women's Health Education Program at Drexel University College of Medicine is once again partnering with the Department of Health & Human Services Office on Women's Health to promote "Latina Heart Health." Specifically the goal is to focus on increasing awareness and recognition of seven common heart attack symptoms seen in women and to encourage the use of the 9-1-1 emergency response system when these symptoms occur.

The Make the Call. Don't Miss a Beat. campaign aims to educate, engage and empower women and their families on the seven symptoms of a heart attack that most commonly present themselves in women. The symptoms include:

  1. Chest pain, discomfort, pressure or squeezing
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Nausea
  4. Light-headedness or sudden dizziness
  5. Unusual upper body pain, or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach
  6. Unusual fatigue
  7. Breaking out in a cold sweat

"Together, stroke and heart disease account for a third of all deaths of Latina women in the United States," says Ana Núñez, MD, professor of medicine; director of the Women's Health Education Program; and associate dean of Urban Health Equity, Education and Research at Drexel University College of Medicine. "Latinas have higher rates of diabetes, are more likely to be overweight or obese, and these factors all increase heart disease risk. With numbers like these, it is vitally important to spread the word to Latina women that if they think they are having a heart attack or stroke, they should call 9-1-1 immediately."

The Make the Call. Don't Miss a Beat. campaign is a national public education campaign led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. To get involved or get more information, visit