Heart Truth LOGO The Heart Truth:
Heart Disease is the #1 Killer of Women

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One in three American women dies of heart disease. Unfortunately, most women don’t know The Heart Truth. Only about a third know that it is the leading cause of death for women.  The Heart Truth is that many women don’t take their risk of heart disease seriously—or personally. Women often fail to make the connection between risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and their own risk of developing heart disease.

Signs & Symptoms of Heart Attack in Women

  • Chest pain, pressure, squeezing, fullness or discomfort that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Unexplained weakness, anxiety, or fatigue without chest pain
  • Pressure/pain in upper back, shoulders, neck, arm, or jaw
  • Clammy sweats, heart flutters, paleness
  • Stomach/abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

Risk Factors for Heart Disease
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of early coronary heart disease
  • Age (for women, 55 and older)
  • Poor nutrition

Tips for Heart Health

Don’t smoke, and if you do, quit.  Women who smoke are two to six times more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smoking women.  Smoking also boosts the risk of stroke and cancer.

Aim for a healthy weight. It’s important for a long, vigorous life. Overweight and obesity cause many preventable deaths.

Get moving. Make a commitment to be more physically active.  Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.

Eat for heart health.  Choose a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and moderate in total fat that includes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Know your numbers. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol (total, LDL, HDL, triglycerides), and blood glucose.  Work with your doctor to improve any numbers that are not normal.

What to do if heart attack warning signs occur:

  • Call 911 immediately. If the person is not breathing, begin CPR immediately.
  • Insist that hospital staff members take your complaints seriously, do not make you wait, and give you a thorough cardiac evaluation.

How to Organize a Successful
Educational Luncheon & Style Show

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Getting answers to these questions will give you vital information about your heart health and what you can do to improve it. You may want to bring this list to your doctor’s office.

  1. What is my risk for heart disease?
  2. What is my blood pressure? What does it mean for me, and what do I need to do about it?
  3. What are my cholesterol numbers? (These include total cholesterol, LDL or "bad" cholesterol, HDL or "good" cholesterol, and triglycerides.) What do they mean for me, and what do I need to do about them?
  4. What are my "body mass index" and waist measurement? Do they indicate that I need to lose weight for my health?
  5. What is my blood sugar level, and does it mean I’m at risk for diabetes?
  6. What other screening tests for heart disease do I need? How often should I return for checkups for my heart health?
  7. What can you do to help me quit smoking?
    How much physical activity do I need to help protect my heart?
  8. What is a heart-healthy eating plan for me? Should I see a registered dietitian or qualified nutritionist to learn more about healthy eating?
  9. How can I tell if I’m having a heart attack?

Campaign Materials
(all document are in pdf file PDF format)

En Español

If you would like multiple copies of any of these materials, please contact us.

National Partners
(all outside links open in a new browser window)

Nebraska Partners

  • Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
  • Office of Women’s Health
  • Office of Minority Health
  • Alegent Health System
  • Aesthetic Surgical Images
  • Butler County Health Department
  • Central District Health Department
  • Clay County Health Department
  • Douglas County Health Department
  • East Central District Health Department
  • Four Corners Health Department
  • Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department
  • Loup Basin Public Health Department
  • North Central District Health Department
  • Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department
  • Panhandle Public Health District
  • Polk County Health Department
  • Red Willow County Health Department
  • Sandhills District Health Department
  • Sarpy/Cass Department of Health & Wellness
  • Saunders County Health Department
  • Scottsbluff County Health Department
  • South Heartland District Health Department
  • Southeast District Health Department
  • Southwest Public Health Department
  • Three Rivers Public Health Department
  • Two Rivers Public Health Department
  • West Central District Health Department

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 To participate in this important public education effort, please call the Office of Women's Health
at 402-471-0158 or Toll-Free at 877-257-0073 or send an e-mail to officeofwomenshealth@dhhs.ne.gov

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