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Rosie O'Donnell opens up to Dr. Oz about her heart attack

Oct. 25, 2012 at 9:16 AM ET

Rosie O'Donnell's August heart attack came as a shock to her fans -- but much more so to the actress herself. But ever since she revealed what happened on her Rosie.com blog, she's been putting her very public face on the issue of women's heart disease. Dr. Mehmet Oz of "The Dr. Oz Show" recently spoke with O'Donnell about her health scare, and he sat down with TODAY's Savannah Guthrie Thursday to go over the key points.

"It's an iconic moment," he said of O'Donnell's public discussion of heart disease, which he says is an illness that kills more women than anything else. "She's so clear about the mistakes she made and she represents so many women's errors in how they think about their own health."

As O'Donnell pointed out to Oz, she didn't call 911 when she started having symptoms for a heart attack, which she said was "the stupidest decision I ever made in my life." She's not alone, as Oz notes, "Women don't put themselves first." But in addition, "traditional" symptoms of a heart attack in women are not necessarily the same as for men.

Oz explained the top symptoms women need to look out for:

  • Pain in the arms and/or neck
  • Nausea and indigestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and/or dizziness

Noted Oz, a woman who experiences more than two or three of those symptoms in that list has "to assume that it's your heart," and should go to the emergency room.

Rosie O'Donnell's interview airs today on "The Dr. Oz Show." Check your local listings for times.

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