YUMA, Ariz. - It's Valentine's Day and with all of the hearts everywhere today we would like share some heart healthy tips.
News 11 spoke with Preventive Cardiologist, Preeti A. Chandra, MD, FACC, RPVI at Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC).
“People don’t want to except that it could be me with a heart problem and for that reason they put off looking and they wait too long and the damage is already done," Chandra said.
YRMC is having an event Thursday, February 15 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at The Patio Restaurant at The Hills for women, educating them on heart disease. You can find out more information here. Dr. Chandra will be speaking at this event as well.
“Surprisingly heart disease is the most common killer in women," she said. "One in four women will die of heart disease and to give you perspective one and 31 women will die of breast cancer so this is a much more prevalent problem in women,” she said.
Dr. Chandra said the key reasons women are so greatly affected is because they fail to recognize the symptoms.
“Women have very different symptoms as opposed to men," she said. "Women's symptoms are very subtle and a typical symptom in a man is a person clutching his chest and saying he has extreme chest pain and sweating profusely in a typical heart attack in a man, whereas in a woman it can be much more subtle like right shoulder pain, jaw pain, inability to breathe well, decreased exercise tolerance, pain just above the belly button, pain at the southern part of the sternal bone and subtler symptoms,” she said.
She said diet, exercise, smoking, stress and heredity all factor into risk of heart disease.
“My favorite piece of advice is to have 25 minutes of exercise daily for five days a week,” she said.
One common misconception she finds is that people think it can only happen to the elderly.
“It can occur as early as 25 or 30 years old, we’ve seen early heart attacks and we have increasingly seen more heart attacks,” she said.
For women, once they have achieved menopause their risk for a heart attack goes up due to less estrogen.
“I want to encourage everyone to go to Yumaregionalmedical.org or their social media and look for #28DaysOfTheHeart for many more events and more education about heart health and fun giveaways,” she said.