Focus on Women’s Heart Health

Focus on Women’s Heart Health

February is American Heart Month. Since 2003, the American Heart Association has been working to increase women’s awareness of heart disease by launching the Go Red for Women ™ campaign.
A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the coronary arteries, which supply oxygen to the heart become blocked by plaque and/or blood clot. While women with coronary artery disease (CAD) generally are about 10 years older than men at the time of presentation, it remains the leading cause of death. One contributing factor is that women may not exhibit classic symptoms, and therefore may not seek prompt medical attention.
Additionally, data suggest that women are not referred as often as men for appropriate diagnostic and/or therapeutic procedures despite similar clinical presentation. Heart disease claims the lives of one in 3 women. Additionally, 64% of women who die suddenly from coronary artery disease have had no previous symptoms. However, 80% of heart disease may be prevented by early detection, lifestyle changes and medical therapy.
While chest pain is the most common symptom of coronary artery disease in both sexes, women are more likely to exhibit atypical symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, back pain, jaw pain, fatigue or lightheadedness. It is important for women to be aware of CAD risk factors.

Risk factors include:
Age >55
Family history of premature CAD
(1st degree male relative less than 50 years old
or female relative less than 60 years old)
(blood pressure of greater than 140/90 or
treatment for hypertension)
(elevated LDL and/or low HDL)

The next step would be to schedule a visit with your doctor to discuss your heart health and to help determine your risk. If appropriate, you may be referred to a heart specialist (cardiologist) to be considered for additional testing. If there is evidence of coronary artery disease, your health care team will be able to aggressively work on the risk factors that lead to disease progression with lifestyle modifications and possibly medical treatment. The bottom line is knowledge is power. When women are well informed, they are empowered to make decisions that can impact their quality and longevity of life.

469.800.1030 • • 4421 Long Prairie Rd., Ste. #200 • Flower Mound, TX 75028
Call to schedule appointment with Dr. David Scherer, MD, FACC or Dr. Raul Santos, MD

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