HCA Neighborhood Health Watch: Heart disease is the number 1 kil - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

HCA Neighborhood Health Watch: Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women

(WWBT) -

Today in Neighborhood Health Watch, the topic is heart disease in women.

Symptoms for women are often different from symptoms that show up in men. Women are more likely than men to die within a year of having a heart attack.

Women tend to end up in the ER after heart damage has already occurred. Doctors hope new knowledge and awareness will lead to better prevention and treatment for women.

Dr. Denise Dietz with Chippenham Hospital Levinson Heart Institute explains the different heart attack symptoms women and men may experience.

"Traditionally, we're taught that crushing chest pain down the left arm to the neck is the classic signs of a heart attack, but in women, it could be different," said Dr. Dietz. "It could be abdominal pain, fatigue, subtle signs. It could be the crushing chest pain, but women are thought to dismiss these traditional symptoms thinking, 'Hey, I'm young and female'...Be proactive and ask the questions: What is my blood pressure? What is my cholesterol? Is it normal, abnormal? Is it something I need to bring up or have followed every visit? Do I need to see a specialist or have more testing done?"

These are some of the questions Dr. Dietz encourages women to ask their doctors to get the conversation, get informed and reduce heart disease risk factors.

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