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Women should be mindful of heart attack symptoms

Anatomical model of a human heart
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Heart attack symptoms in women may be different than in men.

This Heart Month, SIH and Prairie Heart Institute are reminding women not to ignore the symptoms of a heart attack.

Prairie Heart Institute cardiologist Cesar Coello said women sometimes brush off symptoms that seem mild.

"You know in general, we tend to minimize sometimes mild signs, like chest discomfort that comes out of nowhere or with physical activity and we estimate, maybe it's my stomach or maybe it's something else, and we forget to think about, that could be actually a warning about a heart problem," he said.

Coello said women should also be aware that they may have additional risk factors if they had complications during pregnancy, like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. Inflammatory conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, which are more common in women, are also risk factors for heart disease.

Coello said it's important for all people to do what they can to reduce risks, by doing things like exercising, quitting smoking, and eating a healthy diet.

Steph Whiteside is a Digital Media News Specialist with WSIU radio in Carbondale, Ill. She previously worked as a general reporter at AJ+ and Current TV.
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