Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Yet the risk among women is often underestimated, said William Colyer, MD, ProMedica Physicians.
“Traditionally, so to speak, heart disease has been a ‘man’s disease,'” he said, adding that it’s time for us to change our perception. Even with Go Red for Women national events, “the awareness needs to be there the other eleven months,” said Dr. Colyer.
For many women, heart disease may be hard to spot as symptoms are often atypical. A heart attack, especially, will present different symptoms in women than men. According to Dr. Colyer, women “commonly will not have the heavy pressure on the chest that men complain about. They feel more out of breath and more fatigued.”
Atypical symptoms are another reason why prevention is so important. Dr. Colyer said women can start with three questions to help determine their risk.
- What is my blood pressure?
- What is my cholesterol level?
- Do I have diabetes?
“Those are the three big factors from a medical standpoint,” he explained. Talk with your primary care provider about these questions and your risk for heart disease.
Learn more from Dr. Colyer in his recent interview on 13ABC below.