The Polk County Health Department has been awarded $10,000 from the Office on Women’s Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office to increase the number of Latino women in Polk County who recognize heart attack symptoms, call 911 when experiencing heart attack symptoms, and increase heart healthy behaviors. The Spanish language awareness campaign, “Know Your Heartbeat (Conoce tu Latido)” will begin in February.
Rick Kozin, Polk County Health Department Director said “Even though heart disease is the number one killer among women, Latino women are less likely to recognize heart attack signs. Only 53% said that they would call 911 if they thought they were having a heart attack.”
On average one woman dies of a heart attack every minute in the U.S. and risk increases between ages 50 to 60. In men the most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. While this is true with women, they are also more likely to experience other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, unusual fatigue, and pain in the back, shoulders, and jaw.
“Because a heart attack can happen quickly, it is important that in this campaign we work directly with Latino community leaders to reduce the barriers that prevent women from calling 911. We want women to recognize that they might be saving their own life and that it is not a burden on others to call 911,” said Mr. Kozin.
The activities that the Polk County Health Department will undertake are designed to educate women on the range of symptoms of a heart attack in women; empower women to call 911 to save their own life; empower bystanders to act to save the lives of their sisters, mothers, and friends; and encourage women to adopt new behaviors to improve their health. The campaign will work directly with the Latino community through La Ley, La Reina, El Latino, health care providers and advocates. To learn more visit www.womenshealth.gov/heartattack/