News | Published February 1, 2013

Listening to your heart

Heart disease is the leading killer of women, more deadly than all forms of cancer. One woman dies of heart disease every minute, according to statistics from the American Heart Association.

Those are sobering numbers, indeed, but many women overlook the symptoms of heart disease thinking they are too young, that heart disease is a “man’s disease,” or that they don’t have the telltale signs.

The truth is that symptoms of heart disease and signs of a heart attack are different in women than in men. While men may have chest pain that radiates to the arm when experiencing a heart attack, women may get jaw pain, nausea, dizziness and fatigue when having a heart attack. Sadly, many women overlook these symptoms or mistake them for stress or a non-threatening condition.

February 1, 2013 marks the 10th anniversary of National Wear Red Day, which draws attention to the impact of heart disease on women.  We encourage you to not only wear red on February 1, but also to assess your risk factors for heart disease such as:

  • Cholesterol and blood pressure – know your levels and work, if you need to, to get both in check.
  • Weight and diet – maintain a healthy weight and eat a well-balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins.
  • Smoking – if you smoke, quit. Smoking is a leading contributor to a number of health issues, including heart disease.

Mount Nittany Physician Group Cardiology is hosting a free community education event to help you understand the complexity of heart disease in women. An Evening of Women’s Heart Health, on February 12, 2013 at the Galen and Nancy Dreibelbis Auditorium at Mount Nittany Medical Center, features cardiologists talking about the signs and symptoms of heart disease that are specific to women.  The program starts at 6:30 pm and is free and open to the public. Prior to the presentation join us for a free Health Expo and heart-healthy refreshments, starting at 5:30 pm. For more information or to RSVP call 814.234.6727.