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Remember heart health in February - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Remember heart health in February

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -

February is American Heart Month and KTBS 3 News teams up with CHRISTUS Health Shreveport-Bossier to bring you the information you need to keep your ticker ticking properly.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death of Americans. It affects all ethnicities, but Dr. Bob Martin, a cardiologist at CHRISTUS, said there are nine risk factors you need to be aware of:

• Male or Premenopausal Woman

• Over the age of 50

• History of High Blood Pressure

• Diabetic

• High Cholesterol

• History of Smoking

• Family history of heart disease

• Above your Ideal Body Weight (↑IBW)

• Sedentary life style (do not exercise 30 minutes 5 days a week)

Martin said if just one applies to you, you should talk with your doctor about being screened.

The symptoms of a heart attack are different for men and women. Martin said doctors and patients often attribute chest pains in women to noncardiac causes, leading to misinterpretation of their condition. Men usually experience crushing chest pain during a heart attack. Women may have a greater tendency to have pain just under the breastbone, or complain of abdominal pain, indigestion, difficulty breathing, nausea and unexplained fatigue, Martin explained.

Women are therefore easily misdiagnosed of indigestion, gall bladder disease, or an anxiety attack. The likelihood of misdiagnosing a heart attack in women is also increased by the fact that women tend to have heart attacks later in life, when they often have other diseases (such as arthritis or diabetes) that can mask heart attack symptoms.

The American Heart Association is raising awareness of heart health by hosting Go Red Luncheon this Thursday at the Horseshoe Casino Riverdome. The event begins at 11:30 Thursday morning.

 

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