How’s Your Heart? Cardiac Disease The Leading Cause Of Death In Women

By Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Ind.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women each year, and that is more than all cancers combined.

The Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Ind.

More women die from heart disease than any other ailment.

That fact was highlighted Friday at the fourth annual High Tea for the Heart, a woman’s heart health event at Union Hospital in Terre Haute.

“More women die because of the lack of awareness,” said Sarah Kachman, nurse practitioner with Union cardiology.

Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women each year, and that is more than all cancers combined.

Predictors of heart problems, Kachman said, include inactivity, overweight, and family history of people with heart issues, especially in those younger than 50.

“Women should know their family history, be active walking at least 30 minutes five days a week, and be proactive about their health,” Kachman said.

Women who find themselves tired or out of breath after doing every day activities such as carrying groceries or climbing stairs should get a checkup, she said, because that is a warning sign that the heart is having trouble.

Women may not have the same warning signs as men, she said. Those signs include fatigue, jaw pain, shoulder pain, sweating.

“If you see something new and different, get it checked out,” Kachman said.

A heart screening test is a good way to check out risk and heart health, she said. A heart scan takes about 10 minutes, is non-invasive and can be done at Union Hospital Clinton for about $49.

Cardiologist Dr. Prashant Patel, a Terre Haute native who had practices in California and Texas before returning to Indiana, said he hesitates to call any heart attack symptoms typical for men or women.

Some common factors he sees in people who have heart attacks are smoking, diabetes, obesity and inactivity.

In California, he said, most people he saw were health conscious — active and non-smoking — and in those people he saw fewer heart attacks.

Since returning to Indiana and seeing more unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking and obesity, he said, he will say that people who smoke are almost guaranteed of having heart disease and a heart attack.

Friday’s event included free health screenings for blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and body mass index, and many of those attending sat down for a screening.

Dr. John Bolinger, chief medical officer at Union, recommended that anyone with heart concerns should work with their physician to stop smoking, lose weight, limit fat in their diet to limit the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The Indiana State Department of Health said Friday that more than 19,000 Hoosiers died from cardiovascular disease in 2017, making it the leading cause of death in the state.

February is American Heart Month, and Friday was designated as National Wear Red Day by the American Heart Association.

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