It’s been 10 years since the American Heart Association started focusing on women’s heart health with their ‘Go Red For Women’ campaign.
Remarkable progress has been made, but the fight is far from over. Fox News’ Julie Banderas recently sat down with Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, cardiologist and director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, to find out how we can finally put an end to heart disease.
Steinbaum said many women don’t understand their risk for heart disease. It’s the No. 1 killer of women, yet only one in five American women believes heart disease is her greatest health threat.
“We always think as women that breast cancer is our greatest risk,” Steinbaum said. “One in three women will die of heart disease, one in 31 women will die of breast cancer. So this is a major women’s issue.”
Cardiovascular diseases are the cause of death for one in three women each year, killing approximately one woman every minute. Steinbaum said it’s important to understand your personal risk factors and often-overlooked common symptoms, and to share that information with the women you love.
“Over the past twenty years we have seen women develop greater risk factors,” she said. “Obesity, diabetes and the stress of being in the work force. For women less than 55 years old there has been an increase in the incidence of heart disease.”
There are risk factors women can control, such as diet, smoking and exercise, and there are those they cannot, including age and family history.
Common symptoms for women’s heart attacks include:
- chest discomfort
- pain of the jaw, arm or back
- shortness of breath
- nausea or sweating
Steinbaum said women ignore symptoms too often, mistaking them for indigestion or a sign of being out of shape.
“At the end of the day, you know your body better than anyone else,” she said. “If you’re not able to do the activities that you usually do, because you have symptoms like shortness of breath or fatigue…you need to talk to your doctor.”
‘Go Red’ by wearing red on National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 7th to raise awareness about the No. 1 killer of women and help put an end heart disease in women.
“We want all women to say, ‘I’m going to take control of my health, I’m going to take charge of my heart, I’m going to live healthy,’” she said.
For more information visit GoRedForWomen.org.