Stepping off a plane in
2003, Mellanie True Hills (www.mellaniehills.com) felt shoulder pain and
shortness of breath. When she told her doctor two days later, she
was hours from suffering a full-blown heart attack.
According to the American Heart
Association, more than 460,000 women died from heart disease in
2004, about one every minute. To protect other women from heart
attacks, the Austin, Texas-based True Hills published A Woman’s
Guide to Saving Her Own Life: The HEART Program for Health &
Longevity (www.saveherlife.com; $24.95).
“The key,” says True Hills, “is to be
intuitive enough and educated enough so that you can help your
doctor correctly diagnose the problem.” She explains that while men
normally feel chest pain, symptoms in women tend to be more subtle,
including left-side pain, severe indigestion, nausea, undue
exertion and shortness of breath.
Another warning: Women who get just
five or fewer hours of sleep two nights a week are three times more
likely to have an attack.