By Gina Noe
One in nine women between the ages 45 and 64 have some form of cardiovascular disease, and this ratio increases to one in three at age 65 and up.
Almost 39 percent of all female deaths in America occur from cardiovascular disease.
Women who have any chest discomfort or chest pain should immediately see their doctor and ask for the appropriate tests to make sure they are OK.
Insist on your heart being checked out. It is not uncommon for women to report less typical symptoms than men before a heart attack.
Women often experience symptoms such as indigestion, heartburn, fatigue, or jaw or shoulder pain. Do not let your doctor dismiss your concerns as nothing serious, or due to anxiety or stress.
There are several heart-attack warning signs including discomfort in the center of the chest that last for several minutes. Chest pain that comes and goes and uncomfortable chest pressure that may feel like a squeezing, fullness, or pain are also warning signs.
If you experience discomfort or pain in one or both arms, your back, jaw, neck or stomach; shortness of breath with or without chest pain; a cold sweat; nausea or lightheadedness you may be experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.
The American Heart Association recommends that even if you are not sure that your symptoms may be from a heart attack, have them checked out. In this situation, every minute matters! Calling 911 and emergency medical treatment is usually the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment.
Emergency medical services paramedics will begin treatment immediately when they arrive and are trained to revive someone in the event their heart has stopped. If you can’t get emergency medical services, have some-one drive you to the hospital. Don’t drive yourself unless there is absolutely no other option.
Heart disease does not care if you are male or female, rich or poor. It is an equal opportunity killer.
You don’t have to be a statistic! You CAN’T change your age, gender, ethnicity or family history. But there are some things that you CAN do and some changes that you CAN make:
• Stop smoking
• Keep your cholesterol level low
• Adopt a healthy diet that is low in fat and high in fruit, vegetables, and fiber
• Lose weight
• Keep your blood pressure in check
• Engage in regular physical activity
• Ask your doctor about taking an aspirin a day
• Reduce your stress level
On Thursday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m., Baptist Health will present “Heart and a Movie” at Cinemark in Richmond Centre, in Richmond. Information on risk factors, treatments, prevention and the importance of early detection, will be discussed. Then sit back and enjoy some popcorn and watch a free movie!
Admission is free. Visit www.baptisthealthrichmond.com/heart or call 859-260-2220 to register.
For more information about heart health, call the Madison County Cooperative Extension Service at 623-4072.
Educational programs of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.