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A Living Example: Rosie O’Donnell’s Heart Attack Scare

admin - August 22, 2012

Rosie O’Donnell is one of the lucky ones—she suffered a heart attack and survived. It was revealed on Monday the well-known actress and talk show host suffered a heart attack last week.

O’Donnell wrote about the heart attack in her blog and explained it happened after helping an “enormous woman” out of her car. She described her symptoms and how a combination of quick-thinking and Bayer aspirin saved her life.

The 50-year-old said out of nowhere her body felt sore and bruised, her chest ached, she was nauseous, and her skin felt clammy and very warm. She wrote, “[M]aybe this is a heart attack…[I] googled womens heart attack symptoms…[I] had many of them…but really? [I] thought—naaaa.”

O’Donnell must have been somewhat aware of heart attack symptoms but still felt the need to look up the signs. Surprisingly, many people are unaware of heart attack warning signs, and as a result, suffer the consequences. Only 25 percent of heart attack victims have no symptoms. By knowing what to look for before or during a heart attack, you can better prepare yourself for fast action that can save your life, just like it saved O’Donnell’s. But unlike O’Donnell, if you find yourself facing a heart attack, go to the emergency room immediately.

Heart Attack Symptoms

A few of the most commonly ignored heart attack warning signs include:

1. Shoulder, neck, jaw or arm pain. This pain is caused by damaged heart tissue that sends pain signals up and down your spinal cord to your extremities and can come and go. Half of all men who die from heart attacks experience this as the first symptom. If the pain doesn’t go away after a few days, see your doctor.

2. Feeling hot or excessive sweating. If you get clammy skin or sweatiness without other flu-like symptoms that lasts longer than a week or comes and goes, heart disease may be the culprit. This is often one of the first symptoms and if it persists, see your doctor.

3. Anxiety and insomnia. Sudden onset of anxiety or insomnia may indicate a decrease in your oxygen levels caused by possible heart disease. This can occur months prior to a heart attack and happens for no apparent reason. Talk to your doctor about sudden, unexplained instances.

4. Fatigue. If a huge sense of fatigue lasts for weeks or months, your heart may be in trouble. This will happen suddenly even if you’ve gotten plenty of sleep. It also tends to bring a heavy feeling in the legs.

5. Sudden, rapid and irregular heartbeat that feels like you just sprinted down the street. Usually this occurs out of the blue with no obvious trigger. Dizziness and weakness may follow.

6. Difficulty breathing or dizziness. This can indicate a problem with the heart or lungs, and 40 percent of women heart patients experience these symptoms for up to six months before a heart attack strikes.

7. Nausea and indigestion. This symptom, as experienced by O’Donnell, is more common in women and can be mistaken for a stomach virus. If symptoms last longer than a few days, ask your doctor to check your heart health.

How to Prevent a Heart Attack

Rosie O’Donnell found herself in a terrifying and potentially fatal situation, but you don’t have to. Take preventive measures now to avoid being faced with heart attack symptoms.

Things you can do now to keep your heart healthy include regular exercise, a balanced diet full of nutrients and vitamins and preventive health screenings like those offered by Life Line Screening. By determining if you are at increased risk for heart attack and identifying it before it happens, you can save yourself from devastating consequences.

Rosie O’Donnell was lucky, but not everyone is. Protect yourself now. Schedule your health screening today.

To read more about heart attack symptoms and Rosie O’Donnell’s heart attack, view these links:,


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