When most women are asked what the leading cause of death is for women over 25 yrs of age in the US, the most common answer is “cancer.” However, the correct answer is heart disease. One in three women in the US will die of heart disease and about 8 million women in the US are living with heart disease at any one moment. First cardiac events are more fatal in women than men. Did you know that 42% of women who have a heart attack, will die within one year after this event compared to 24% of men? A woman’s heart is different.
Risk factors for women and men are well documented and many are preventable. Despite this, alarming trends in the prevalence of risk factors continues. Aggressive cardiac risk factor management, education and intercepting women at key points like childbearing and menopause, can be keys to better outcomes. Risk factors include high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, poor lifestyle choices and family history. However, symptoms of a cardiac event in a woman differ from a man. Men report crushing chest pain with pain radiating down the left arm. Many women never experience this and report more atypical symptoms of a cardiac event including shortness of breath, nausea and unusual fatigue. Hormones and age are also influential with heart disease in women.
Effective treatment options are available to not only manage cardiac events but to slow down this often progressive disease process. Listen in to this segment to hear local cardiology expert, Dr. Jason Reingold address the topic of preventive cardiology for women. Understanding and managing cardiac risk factors today may reduce the chance of heart disease for women tomorrow.
Dr. Jason Reingold
- MD from Emory University
- Board-certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology
- Internal Medicine Residency program completed at UC San Francisco Med Ctr.
- Completed cardiology fellowship at Mass General Hospital in Boston
- Regular appearances on Sanjay Gupta’s CNN health program