Many Women Unaware Of Heart Disease’s Threat

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(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

CBS DC (con't)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Only one in five women are aware that heart disease is their greatest health threat, but new campaigns like Go Red for women are trying to get the message out that it’s the number one killer.

When you think of heart disease, you likely think it’s mostly a problem among men. But since 1984, women have died more often.

Even when a woman has a heart related problem, they don’t recognize the symptoms, because they’re sometimes different from men’s symptoms.

“They come in complaining of the worst heartburn they’ve ever had, or some pain in the jaw or back pain. They think it’s everything else but the heart,” Dr. Kimara March said.

If women have any of those symptoms, or nausea or sweating, March said it’s important to get to the ER right away.

“They can have the chest pain or the chest pressure, but actually very commonly they don’t come in complaining of that,” March said.

Women tend to be 10 years older than men when they have their first heart attack, so knowing your numbers and preventing an attack is key.

March said women should be aware of “what their blood pressure is, what their cholesterol is, what their optimal weight is and if they’re a smoker.” That way, women and their doctors can figure out the best way to keep your heart healthy.

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