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Heart Attack Symptoms and Heart Disease Prevalence in Women

MINEOLA, NY--(Marketwired - Jul 29, 2015) - Heart disease is often recognized as man's condition. But, according to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of women, causing one in three deaths each year. N.Y. cardiology practice Long Island Heart Associates (LI Heart), with its strong emphasis on heart disease prevention, strives to bring awareness to women regarding heart diasese.

Women's heart attack symptoms are known to be different from men's. While the genders often share symptoms, women are more likely to notice other indicators that may be misinterpreted as a minor ailment. These include: extreme fatigue, cold sweat, shortness of breath, stomach pain, nausea, tightness in the upper back, lightheadedness, neck pain and jaw pain. One or more of these symptoms -- without any obvious chest pain -- is referred to as a silent heart attack, or silent ischemia. Studies suggest that women are more likely to suffer from silent heart attacks than men.

According to 2015 American College of Cardiology research, women experiencing a heart attack wait much longer than men to call emergency services, increasing their risk for adverse outcomes.

"Our findings should set off an alarm for women, who may not understand their personal risk of heart disease and may take more time to realize they are having a heart attack and need urgent medical help," says Raffaele Bugiardini, M.D., professor of cardiology.

It is important to understand family history, know the symptoms and seek medical attention immediately if a heart attack is suspected. If any of the above symptoms are experienced with no explanation -- no recent running, no exercise to explain muscle pain, atypical sweating -- it is important to seek medical attention and rule out heart conditions.

LI Heart believes in empowering women and strives to see them take control of their health by preventing heart disease and knowing its signs. Regular check-ups with a board-certified cardiologist can assess a patient's risk, and determine if a heart attack is likely in the near future.

LI Heart prides itself in its on-staff female cardiologist, Dr. Andressa Borges. Cardiology is a male-dominant field, and many women are more comfortable seeing a woman with an issue as personal as heart health. Dr. Borges is board-certified in cardiovascular disease, nuclear cardiology, echocardiology, cardiac CT and internal medicine. Her areas of interest include cardiac imaging, cardiovascular health in women, and clinical research.

While wanting to make women aware of symptoms, LI Heart stresses that media can make people paranoid about heart attacks, leaving them to assume every pain is a heart attack. The constant stress can cause ailments. Instead, it is important to understand heart attack symptoms and be proactive in prevention. "People believe that if you have risk factors for heart attack, it is a death sentence," says Steven Shayani, LI Heart cardiologist and medical director. "With the available testing and drug therapy, heart disease can be detected, and stopped from progressing."

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