The statistics are staggering: heart disease kills more women than anything else.

More than auto accidents.

More than diabetes.

More than cancer.

Fortunately, it isn’t a hopeless fight. When caught early, heart disease doesn’t have to be the debilitating disease it frequently becomes.

That’s why Wuesthoff Health System and the American Heart Association are teaming together in 2012 to help Brevard County women better understand heart disease and how it can be prevented. The Go Red for Women initiative encourages awareness of the issue of women and heart disease, and also action to save more lives. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them the tools they need to lead a heart healthy life.

While it’s a year-long partnership, some noticeable events take place in February, highlighted by the national Celebrate Wear Red Day on February 3. Ongoing programs include community education talks, health screening events and a steady flow of information.

For more information, go to, or

Warning Signs

Chest pain is the key warning sign of a heart attack, but many times it is confused with indigestion, pleurisy, pneumonia or other disorders. It’s also important to note that not every woman will experience the same thing when having a heart attack. Common symptoms include:

  • Severe pressure, fullness, squeezing, pain and/or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes;
  • Pain or discomfort that spreads to the shoulders, neck, arms or jaw;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Stomach or abdominal pain;
  • Dizziness or fainting;
  • Unexplained weakness or fatigue.

Think you’re having a heart attack? It’s important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Call 9-1-1 or get to the nearest hospital.