Healthy Heart 101: For women

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of American women, killing one out of three women in the United States.  Since 1984, women have surpassed men in cardiovascular disease-related mortality.

Women often present with heart disease symptoms later than men, and often their symptoms are different than what is commonly associated with heart disease or heart attack.  Some women still experience the classic symptom of chest pain, but other symptoms that can be indicators of heart disease include fatigue, nausea, extreme sweats, shortness of breath, indigestion and neck, jaw and/or back pain.

Because women often present with heart disease symptoms later than men, they often seek treatment later than men.  Therefore it is important for individuals who are experiencing sudden onset of symptoms they have never felt before, such as acid reflux or other feelings they can’t explain, to begin thinking about what could possibly be going on and take action, instead of waiting.

Prompt medical attention and treatment is of utmost importance for those experiencing a heart attack.  If you or someone around you is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack and/or collapses, call 911 immediately. With a specific system in place among the local first responders and an exceptional emergency response team at Cone Health’s Heart and Vascular Center, survival rates of heart attack patients in the community have been greatly improved due to the prompt, coordinated emergency care.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Katarina Nelson is a cardiologist at Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare. Dr. Nelson attended medical school at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. She completed her medical residency in internal medicine at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI and a cardiology fellowship at the University of Miami. She completed an additional fellowship in advanced cardiovascular imaging at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard University in Boston, MA.