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February is American Heart Month

Heart disease does not discriminate. Women can get it too.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease claims the lives of one in three American women at a rate of nearly one every minute. The chances of getting heart disease increase when a women gets older, however, it can affect women at any age.

More than half of the women who have heart disease experience no symptoms at all. But when they do, they can be different from what men experience. For instance, women may not experience chest pain during a heart attack. Knowing the symptoms women experience can improve chances for survival. Here are a few symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Jaw pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating

You can reduce the risk of heart disease with lifestyle changes such as eating healthy, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding the use of tobacco. It's also recommended to keep your blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels in a healthy range. These levels may vary depending on your risk factors. Ask your provider which targets are best for you.

Additional health and wellness information

If you're a Highmark member, you have access to a secure, members-only website. Here you will find more information about heart disease. To access the website, select the service region noted on your member ID card. After logging in, select the "Wellness" tab. Type "heart disease" in the search field.