LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - One of the first steps to take to ensure a heart-healthy life is to know which risks you can control and which ones you can’t.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. By the age of 65, one in three women are diagnosed with a heart condition.
Cardiologist Chris Thompson says that many women neglect the warning signs of heart disease. These include tightness or pressure in the chest; pain in the neck, jaw, or throat; and pain in the abdomen or back.
Risk factors include diabetes, an unhealthy diet, or being overweight or obese.
Many dietitians suggest a Mediterranean diet as a healthy alternative.
Thompson says that it is imperative for women to recognize any unfamiliar symptoms they may have and get checked by their doctor.
“If they do have a different type of symptom outside of their normal behavior - shortness of breath, any kind of discomfort in their chest, things like that that doesn’t go away - they need to seek medical attention if it doesn’t go away,” Thompson said.
Thompson says more often than not, women under-describe their symptoms when they go to the doctor which leads to not being diagnosed with a heart condition until later in life.