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Rosie O'Donnell Suffers a Heart Attack

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(Image Credit: Steve Vlasic/Getty Images)

Rosie O'Donnell revealed she suffered a heart attack last week and called it a "miracle" she didn't die.

The comedian shared the news on her blog and credited a Bayer aspirin commercial with saving her life.

"i took some bayer aspirin/thank god/saved by a tv commercial/literally," O'Donnell wrote in her usual free verse form.

O'Donnell said she Googled the symptoms of a heart attack and was experiencing many of them, yet she did not call 911.

The pain persisted, O'Donnell said. The next day she visited a cardiologist who did an EKG and found her coronary artery was 99 percent blocked.

O'Donnell was admitted to the hospital and had a stent put in to clear the blockage.

"they call this type of heart attack/the Widow Maker/i am lucky to be here," she wrote.

Earlier this month, O'Donnell revealed her fiancee, Michelle Rounds, had been diagnosed with desmoid tumors, a rare condition. The condition, which affects about 900 people in the U.S. each year, produces slow growing tumors in the body that can cause life threatening conditions if they compress vital organs.

"Undiagnosed - again and again / her pain grew worse / it seemed impossible / no one knew what was wrong," O'Donnell wrote. "Life changes in an instant."

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. An American woman suffers a heart attack every minute. Check out the links below for more information on heart health and heart disease in women.

Heart Attack Symptoms That Women Often Miss

The seven major signs you are having a heart attack:

Unusual or unexplained fatigue unrelated to exercise. "You're absolutely exhausted when you try to do any activity. You feel as though you don't have the strength," said Dr. Nieca Goldberg, medical director of New York University's Women's Heart Program. "This is not fatigue because you didn't sleep, your kids woke you up five times during the night or because you're having chills and fever from the flu." Dr. Roquelle E. Wyche, an attending cardiologist at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Association of Black Cardiologists, which is one of several partners in the campaign, said it's the kind of fatigue a woman might notice if, say, she usually parks a block away from her job and typically walks that block without any difficulty but starts to feel extremely tired and feels the need to rest. Mosca also noted that looking back, more than 80 percent of women with confirmed heart attacks had fatigue in the previous three to four months but didn't take it seriously.

Unfamiliar dizziness or lightheadedness. "This is a symptom that can be associated with others, because when you're having a heart attack, your heart is not pumping effectively and you're taking blood away from your brain and you're dizzy or might feel like fainting," said Goldberg, author of "Women Are Not Small Men," which was revised and rereleased as "The Women's Healthy Heart Program -- Lifesaving Strategies for Preventing and Healing Heart Disease."

Unexplained nausea, vomiting. "Usually what happens is people get a symptom like lower chest pressure or upper abdomen pressure, and the associated symptom is nausea and vomiting," Goldberg said.

Sharp pain in the upper body, including the neck, back and jaw. This is a significant symptom, particularly when this is the first time a woman has felt pain in those places, Wyche said.

Severe shortness of breath. Goldberg described this as feeling as if "you've run a marathon but you've not made a move."

Heavy pressure on the chest, which may feel like indigestion, heartburn, fullness or squeezing, lasts more than a few minutes and may abate before returning. "The chest pressure is relentless. it doesn't change with positional changes. It could be associated with nausea, vomiting, a cold sweat, feeling like you're going to faint or you may faint," Goldberg said.

Cold sweats that do not resemble the hot flashes associated with menopause.

READ MORE: Heart Attacks in Young Women Can Be Harder to Detect, Deadlier



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