INDIANAPOLIS — This month is American Heart Health Month and according to a new report, nearly half of American adults are impacted by some type of heart disease.
Traditionally heart disease has been considered more of a concern for men, but heart disease is the number one killer in both men and women. Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women every year.
Dr. Mary Norine Walsh at St. Vincent says that women, in general, present symptoms about ten years later than men. And while symptoms of a heart attack in women and men are often similar - like chest discomfort and shortness of breath - women can also experience abdominal or back pain. This leads doctors to think it may be something else.
About 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases are preventable.
There are some lifestyle choices women can make to minimize their risk of heart disease. For instance, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Walsh says the Go Red for Women Campaign has made a huge difference in bringing awareness to heart disease in women.
"With the Go red campaign women themselves have become much more aware of these symptoms and we have seen that they take action more frequently now," Walsh said.
Doctors also say it is important for women to know their blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers.
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