"Last night I was having chest pains and so this morning paramedics came to look at me," Ellen DeGeneres told her studio audience.
"The paramedics were strippers that I had called!" she joked.
"I woke up in the middle of the night and I was feeling a tightness in my chest and all the scary things, like something was heavy on my chest...and it was a cat, so I moved it, and then I still felt the tightness and heaviness and it was another cat under that cat, there were two cats on my chest!" she said.
But behind her jokes was a medical scare serious enough for Ellen to call 911. Her chest pains started Sunday night and continued into Monday morning, when she interrupted a meeting with her producers on the Warner Brothers studio lot to get help.
INSIDE EDITION asked Suzanne Steinbaum, the director of women's health and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital, about Ellen's symptoms.
"Ellen's chest pains and sweating are typical symptoms of a heart attack and Ellen actually could have been having a heart attack," said Dr. Steinbaum.
The 53-year-old comedian is at an age when she has to be concerned about heart disease, the number one killer of women in the United States.
Dr. Steinbaum said, "What Ellen and all women need to do is find out their own personal risk factors, get your blood pressure checked, cholesterol checked, know if you have a family history, diabetes, and really understand that 80 percent of the time you can prevent heart disease by how you eat and how you live."
Ellen, who since 2008 has lived on a vegan diet, was given a clean bill of health.
"Everything's fine, it's all, I don't know what it is, it's, you know, whatever, but it's fine, I have a baboon heart that I had put in earlier – that's not true," she joked.
Doctors say 30-60 minutes of exercise and a healthy diet low in saturated fats are among the things you can do to help keep your heart healthy.