"They sent me to the ER and said ‘You're having a heart attack’"

"They sent me to the ER and said ‘You're having a heart attack’"

EUGENE, Ore. -- People across the nation wore red on Friday in honor of the 10th annual 'Wear Red for Women' day, which promotes heart disease awareness.

If asked what's the leading cause of death in woman, many might say cancer but 

The American Heart Association said that one out of three women in the United States will die of heart disease, making it the leading cause of death for women in the nation.

People wore red on Feb. 1 as a way to remind others to stay heart-healthy.

Martha Hermach was one of the participants in ‘Wear Red for Women Day’. Hermach said that what started as a little chest pressure after Thanksgiving dinner last year turned out to be much more.

“I was just calling to make an appointment with my doctor because I had indigestion and a little heart pressure,” said Hermach. “They sent me to the ER and said, ‘You're having a heart attack’.”

The American Heart Association said that many of the women that eventually die of heart disease don’t know they are at risk until it's too late.

 Heart and vascular specialist Sarah Grall said that heart attack symptoms in women are very different than what is seen in men.

Unlike the chest pain and numbness in limbs seen in men, women also feel nausea and back or neck pains.

“Women tend to not recognize symptoms very well. They tend to be better at denying symptoms because of caregiver roles and other factors,” said Grall.  

Specialists like Grall said that something as simple as walking on a consistent basis and eating healthy can be key in preventing heart disease.

Grall says since the American Heart Association launched their 'wear red' campaign, they've seen a 21 percent decline of mortality rates in woman.

After her heart attack experience, Martha said that she's being more conscious about the way she lives her life.

“I'll continue to do the exercising and watching the diet … and telling everyone I know that you might not know you're having a heart attack,” said Hermach.


Is it a heart attack?   |   Determining heart attack risks   |   The American Heart Association website