Jan 23, 2014

Schliemann Center to Focus on Women and Heart Disease in February

Heart disease is the number one killer of American women (and men), but it's a disease that in most cases can be prevented. During February, American Heart Month, the Schliemann Center for Women’s Health Education (SCWHE) will be offering programs to share information on how to recognize and prevent heart disease.

"Girls’ Night Out: Heart to Heart" with cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Louis Elkins is scheduled Thursday, February 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the BRMC Lagerborg Dining Room. This is a free event, and dinner will be provided. Space is limited, and reservations are required. Call the SCWHE today at (870) 508-2345, email Whitney Aleshire-Embrey, SCWHE Coordinator, at waleshire@baxterregional.org.

The following day, Friday, February 7, is National Wear Red Day. This is the 10th year of American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" campaign to promote awareness of heart disease, its risk factors and symptoms. Heart disease takes the life of 1 in 3 women each year and kills more than all forms of cancer combined. This means we’re losing women at the rate of one per minute!

Some risk factors for heart disease that you can control include:

  • High blood pressure. This silent killer increases your risk for heart attack or stroke.
  • Smoking. According to the American Heart Association, smoking makes you two to four times more likely to develop coronary heart disease.
  • High cholesterol. The higher your cholesterol the greater your risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Physical inactivity. Lack of physical exercise increases your risk of heart disease.
  • Obesity or overweight. Excess body fat, especially around your waist, increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Diabetes. Having diabetes, especially with uncontrolled blood sugar, increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Women also need to recognize the symptoms that accompany heart attacks. Those for women are often different from those experienced by men. While men are more likely to experience chest pain, symptoms that most often precede a heart attack in women include weakness, shortness of breath and unusual fatigue.

Some of the common heart attack symptoms in women are as follows:

  • Shortness of breath, not accompanied by chest pain
  • Sweating
  • Tightness in chest
  • Sudden dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • Feeling of heartburn or indigestion
  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Flu-like symptoms, cold sweats and nausea
  • Unexplained weakness and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite, general discomfort and a feeling of anxiety
  • Pain in neck, lower jaw, shoulder and upper back
  • Sense of impending doom

Help us spread the word! Click to download Girls' Night Out and Wear Red Day flyers. Click here for the Go Red For Women Heart Health Guide or visit goredforwomen.org for more women's heart health information.

For more information about upcoming programs at the Schliemann Center for Women's Health Education or to register for events, call (870) 508-2345.