America goes red for women's heart health - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

America goes red for women's heart health

WATERLOO (KWWL) --  What's your typical image of someone having a heart attack -- a man in his 50's... Perhaps overweight? You may be surprised to know more women die of heart disease than men...Over 450,000 women a year.

The American Heart Association is hoping to get the word out with its "Go Red for Women" campaign.

Heart attacks and stroke have killed more women than men for the last 25 years, but the American Heart Association found fewer than one in ten doctors knew that information. It might explain why when women show up in the emergency room with chest pains, they're less likely to get EKG's, or at the doctor, less likely to be prescribed life saving drugs that lower cholesterol.

Experts want women to speak up.

Dr. Susan Bennett with American Heart Association says, "We don't want women to be saying 'Um, I'm not sure, but uh, you don't need to take care of me right away.' Women need to be sure that they speak out and say 'Listen, I'm concerned. I think I may be having a heart attack.'"

The Heart Association is asking women to wear red Friday to get the word out that heart disease. Women often don't know they're having a heart attack because some never feel chest pain.

Experts say women are more likely to experience shortness of breath and pain in the upper back. Even being overly tired can be a sign of heart disease.

The good news: with a smart diet, exercise, and knowing what to expect, the Heart Association says women can decrease their risk by over 80%.


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