IDPH Raises Heart Attack Awareness


September 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) urges Iowa women to educate and empower themselves and their families about the seven symptoms of a heart attack most commonly seen in women. According to the American Heart Association, only half of U.S. women recognize chest pain and pain in the arm, neck and shoulders as the typical symptoms of a heart attack. The “Make the Call. Don’t Miss a Beat” campaign, led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, seeks to increase women’s knowledge of the symptoms of a heart attack. 

“A woman suffers a heart attack every 90 seconds in the United States,” said Terry Meek, IDPH Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program project coordinator. “Yet according to a 2009 American Heart Association survey, only half of women indicated they would call 9-1-1 if they thought they were having a heart attack and few were aware of the most common heart attack symptoms.” 

IDPH urges women to make the call to 9-1-1 immediately if they experience any one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain, discomfort, pressure or squeezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness or sudden dizziness
  • Unusual upper body pain, or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat 

For more information about the “Make the Call. Don’t Miss a Beat” campaign, visit For information on the IDPH Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention program, visit