October 20, 2017
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WOMENHEART STATEMENT ON ROSIE O’DONNELL’S HEART ATTACK

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Patient Survivor Spokespersons and Medical Experts Available for Interviews
Washington, DC – Lisa M. Tate, CEO of WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with
Heart Disease responded to the news of comedian and actress Rosie O’Donnell’s heart attack:
“Rosie O’Donnell’s experience with her heart attack is one that is all too common among
women. She didn’t recognize her symptoms as those of a heart attack and she delayed
calling 911.”
Data shows that only 1 in 5 women believe heart disease is their greatest health threat, and
only 53 percent say they would call 911 if experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack.
Although women may experience heart attack symptoms typical of men (crushing chest
pain, pain in the left arm), they can experience a wide range of less recognized symptoms
including shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, unusual fatigue, and pain in the back,
shoulders and jaw.
Delay in recognition of symptoms and seeking emergency care can result in irreversible
damage to heart muscle or death. When a woman (or man) thinks they may be
experiencing a heart attack they should take the following actions: 1) Call 911 within
five minutes of the start of symptoms (do not drive yourself or let family or friends
drive you to the hospital); 2) Chew and swallow one regular full-strength aspirin with
a glass of water as soon as possible; 3) Once at the hospital, make it clear you are
having symptoms of a heart attack.
Rosie O’Donnell’s courage and frankness in speaking out about her heart attack will surely
save lives by making women more aware of heart attack symptoms and the need to seek
immediate care.”
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To schedule an interview with WomenHeart’s CEO Lisa M. Tate, a WomenHeart Speakers
Bureau representative, or a member of WomenHeart’s Scientific Advisory Council, please
contact Eva Maciejewski at (202) 464 8743 or emaciejewski@womenheart.org. WomenHeart’s
Speakers Bureau can provide patient survivor spokespersons to speak on their own
experience with heart attacks. Expert cardiologists from WomenHeart’s Scientific Advisory
Council hail from a wide variety of leading medical institutions including the Mayo Clinic,
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Heart
Center, Washington Hospital Center, Rush University Medical Center, UCLA Medical Center,
the Muriel I. Kauffman Women’s Heart Center, and more.
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is the nation’s only
patient centered organization serving the 42 million American women living with or at risk
for heart disease – the leading cause of death in women. WomenHeart is devoted to
advancing women’s heart health through advocacy, community education, and patient
support.