House Call: Women and heart disease

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Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of American women, killing one out of three women in the U.S.  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.

Some women still experience the classic symptom of chest pain, but other symptoms that can be indicators of heart disease in women include fatigue, nausea, extreme sweats, shortness of breath, neck or back pain and indigestion.

Cardiovascular disease is a condition that develops over decades. Therefore it is never too early to start taking care of your heart health and focusing on heart disease prevention.

It is important to know the risk factors of heart disease which include family history, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes; and start taking steps to lower your risk.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Paula Ross is a cardiologist and member of the Cone Health Medical Staff.  Dr. Ross is a 1989 graduate of University of Michigan Medical School.

She completed her residency in internal medicine at University of Michigan Hospitals and completed a fellowship in cardiology at University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas and University of Alabama School of Medicine.