If you are a woman, statistically you will more likley die from heart disease than anything else: that’s including all forms of cancers, chronic disorders, trauma, and accidents. General myth is that heart disease is a men’s disease. It’s the opposite. One in three women will die from heart disease, which translates to one woman dying from heart disease every minute. But, there is much you can do about it. Heart disease develops over time. Research shows that 80 percent of heart disease and stroke events may be prevented by lifestyle changes and education.
Cardiovascular risk factors includes family history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity with sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet. All contribute to heart disease over time. Ninety percent of women have one or more of these risk factors for heart disease and stroke. If you have one or more of these risk factors regardless of age, get screened for heart disease.
A heart attack in women does not always have obvious symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath and cold sweats. Symptoms can be mild, such as flu-type of body aches and pains, nausea, vomiting, or can even happen without a person knowing it. It is called a “silent heart attack,” and delay in treatment in such cases results in poor outcomes. Get informed, and learn your risks. Your life or the life of someone you love may depend on it. Get screened for heart disease.
To learn more about Rockwood Women’s Heart Clinic, visit www.RockwoodClinic.com. To schedule an appointment at one of our six Heart and Vascular locations, call (509) 755-5500.
Dr. Ellie Mueller is an interventional cardiologist and director of the Rockwood Women’s Heart Clinic.