(BPT) - Did you know that nearly 300,000 women in the U.S. have heart attacks each year? Yet, most women's handbags are better prepared to manage a broken nail (55 percent) or bad hair day (36 percent) than a heart attack (17 percent).
Bayer HealthCare, the makers of Bayer(R) Aspirin, and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease join together on a national campaign, Handbags & Hearts, that urges women to carry aspirin in their handbags - the one item they do not leave home without - at all times to be prepared for a sudden heart attack. Help spread the word about heart attack preparedness, as knowing what to do in the moment could be the difference between life and death.
'As a cardiologist, I see women everyday who aren't aware of the unique symptoms women often experience or what to do if they suspect they are having a heart attack. I urge all women to equip themselves with the knowledge they need to save their own lives,' said Tracy Stevens, MD, FACC, Medical Director of the Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute's Muriel I. Kauffman Women's Heart Center and member of the WomenHeart Scientific Advisory Council, WomenHeart's advisory group of the nation's leading experts on women's heart health. 'Take the time to visit HandbagsAndHearts.com and make sure you carry aspirin in your handbag every day to be better prepared for a sudden heart attack.'
A survey, conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Bayer HealthCare, revealed that 61 percent of women feel they are likely to have a heart attack in their lifetime, yet 93 percent don't have knowledge of each of the different heart attack symptoms women often experience. When taken during a heart attack as directed by a doctor, aspirin has been shown to reduce the risk of death - by 23 percent - and lessen the damaging effects on the heart muscle. Less than a quarter of those surveyed said they carry it in their handbag. Ladies - what are you waiting for?
Put your heart health front and center today by following this quick and easy advice from Dr. Stevens:
* Take the time to learn the specific signs of heart attack in women. In an online survey of 1,000 women, most had limited knowledge of heart attack symptoms different to them such as nausea (43 percent) and cold sweats (36 percent). Trust your gut - if something doesn't seem right, don't delay.
* If you suspect a heart attack, calling 911 and chewing or crushing and swallowing aspirin as directed by a physician can be life-saving.
* Be proactive about your heart health; commit to discussing your heart health with your doctor at your next physical to help identify your coronary risks and put a plan in place to address those risks - before you have a heart attack. Seventy-one percent of women did not discuss their heart health at their last doctor visit.
* Visit HandbagsAndHearts.com to learn the signs and symptoms of heart attack.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.