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St. Vincent’s Medical Center Heart Healthy Month: Heart Disease

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – We are joined by Dr. Anja Wagner, MD to educate us on heart disease.

Facts on heart disease:

1. Heart disease is the number one killer

• Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the USA for men and women

• 1 in 3 deaths in women is caused by heart disease, and most women are not aware that your chances of dying from heart disease are 10 times higher than dying from breast cancer.

2. More women than men die from heart disease and what are the reasons?

• Over the last twenty years the death rate for men from heart disease has decreased but remained constant for women

• There are several reasons:

Lack of awareness: Women underestimate their risk:1 in 5 women know that this illness was their gender’s number one killer. Andphysicians also systematically underestimate the risks in female versus male patients:Women with same risk factors and symptoms are 1/3 less likely to receive testing and treatment

• Women who suffer from heart attacks can present with subtle symptoms, which are often missed

3. Symptoms of a heart attack can be different in a woman.

• Men very commonly present with classic chest pain or pressure

• Whereas at least 50% of women have more subtle symptoms such as: SOB, jaw pain, upset stomach, weakness and fatigue

4. What can we do to prevent heart disease

80% of CVD can be prevented by life style modifications such as:

• Don’t smoke: increases risk x4, exponential if combined with other risk factors

• Keep your cholesterol and BP under control

• Regular aerobic exercise: 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise like brisk walking every day reduces risk of heart attack and stroke by 50%

• Heart healthy diet: high in vegetables, fruit and fiber. Low in saturated fat and salt.

• Watch your weight

The Women at Heart Fashion Show/AuctionFundraiser is April 25th at Mitchell’s in Westport.

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