Famous talk show host, Rosie O’Donnell, posted a message in her website on August 20, to encourage women to learn the signs and symptoms of heart attack. In the message, she also revealed that she ignored her symptoms and is now “lucky to be here”.
O’Donnell, 50, told her fans that she suffered a “widow maker” heart attack about a week prior to the day she posted the message. She searched for information about women’s symptoms of heart attack on Google, and she found that the symptoms listed matched her own.
Instead of calling the emergency number, she simply took an aspirin.
On the following day, she went to a cardiologist for diagnosis and was told that she had a heart attack. The doctor removed a sizable blockage from her coronary artery and inserted a stent to keep the artery open.
According to Dr. Chrisandra Shufelt, associate director of Barbara Streisand Women’s Heart Center in Los Angeles, O’Donnell’s story is a reminder that women do not experience the same heart attack symptoms as men, and many of them wait too long before getting emergency help.
Chest pain is one of the symptoms of heart attack for women, but there are other symptoms that are not so obvious. O’Donnell said that she felt pain in both of her arms, which is a common symptom.
The American Heart Association warns that women who have heart attack may also experience “atypical” symptoms such as:
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, back, lower chest, or upper belly
- Shortness of breath
While taking an aspirin can increase your chances of surviving a heart attack, it is not the best solution. You should call 911 immediately if you experience any heart attack symptoms.