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David McArthur, Community and Media Relations Manager
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Heart disease is no. 1 killer of women in Kentucky
Lexington, Ky. (February 5, 2015)—When people think of February, they often associate the month with the heart – the symbol of love and Valentine’s Day. KentuckyOne Health wants to shift the conversation from cartoon hearts to heart heath, in honor of American Heart Month. For women in Kentucky, there may be no conversation more important.
Heart disease is not only the number one killer of women in the U.S., but also the number one killer of women in Kentucky. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.
“Many people think that heart disease is something that disproportionately affects men, but that’s simply untrue,” said Michelle Morton, MD, KentuckyOne Health Cardiology Associates. “Women are more likely to die from heart disease than any other cause.”
On average, about 16 women die each day from heart disease and stroke in Kentucky; and heart disease is the cause of death for about 25 percent of women.
On a broader scale, heart disease remains the number one global cause of all deaths with 17.3 million deaths each year, according to the American Heart Association. Roughly 2,150 Americans die each day from heart disease, stroke or other cardiovascular diseases, that’s one every 40 seconds.
Women often experience heart attack symptoms differently than men. Common symptoms for women include pressure, squeezing or discomfort in the chest; fatigue; trouble sleeping; shortness of breath; pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach; and anxiety.
The most common symptom for both men and women is chest pain, but women are somewhat more likely to experience other common symptoms. In addition, many women report experiencing symptoms as much as a month before a heart attack, according to the National Institute for Health.
“Women often put their children and families before themselves and may ignore symptoms until they become more serious,” said Dr. Morton. “It’s important to listen to your body. If you aren’t feeling normal or experience symptoms of a heart attack, go to your local emergency room or call 9-1-1.”
While some biological factors, like family history, can’t be changed, lifestyle modifications like eating a heart-healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise can lessen one’s chances of falling victim to heart disease.
A heart healthy diet is focused on plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean meats and limits fried foods, red meat and salt intake. Choosing whole grains and limiting unhealthy fats and cholesterol are also key. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times each week to maintain heart health.
About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health, the largest and most comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth, has more than 200 locations including, hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to bringing wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved. The system is made up of the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, along with the the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. KentuckyOne Health is proud of and strengthened by its Catholic, Jewish and academic heritages.
Heart Health in Women
- Heart disease is not only the number one killer of women in the U.S., but also the number one killer of women in Kentucky
- Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined, according to the American Heart Association
- Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease
- Heart disease is the cause of death for about 25 percent of women
- Women are more likely to die from heart disease than any other cause
- Heart disease and stroke combined kill 1 in 3 women
- On average, about 16 women die each day from heart disease and stroke in Kentucky
- Heart attack symptoms in women are different than in men. Women commonly experience
Pressure, squeezing or discomfort in the chest
Shortness of breath
Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Women have reported experiencing symptoms as long as a month before a heart attack, according to the National Institute for Health
- On a broader scale, heart disease remains the number one global cause of all deaths with 17.3 million deaths each year, according to the American Heart Association
- Roughly 2,150 Americans die each day from heart disease, stroke or other cardiovascular diseases – one every 40 seconds