Latinas targeted in heart attack awareness campaign
The Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health launched its new heart attack awareness campaign targeting Spanish-speaking women age 50 and over. The "Haga La Llamada, ¡No Pierda Tiempo!" campaign builds on OWH's "Make the Call, Don't Miss a Beat," which began in 2011. The new Spanish-language campaign aims to educate and empower Spanish-speaking women to call 911 when they experience any of the seven symptoms of a heart attack and to do the same for their mothers, sisters and friends.
Forty percent of Latina women have two or more risk factors for having a heart attack, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In fact, one in four Puerto Rican women has three or more risk factors.
Fewer than half of Latina women age 55 and over who were surveyed by the American Heart Association in 2006 and 2009 recognized the typical heart attack symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath and pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck or arms. Less than 15 percent of Latina women in this age group recognized the atypical heart attack symptoms of nausea, vomiting or unusual fatigue (which may be present for days). Data from a study in the Journal of Women's Health also suggest that women who are at the highest risk for heart disease are actually least aware of the threat.
This February, American Heart Month, OWH urges women to make the call to 911 immediately if they experience any one or more of the following seven symptoms:
n Chest pain, discomfort, pressure or squeezing
n Shortness of breath
n Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
n Unusual upper body pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck, jaw or upper part of the stomach
n Unusual fatigue
n Cold sweats
For more information on OWH's heart attack awareness campaigns, please visit womenshealth.gov/heartat tack/ or womenshealth.gov/corazonsaludable or call 1-800-994-9662.