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Talk on women’s heart disease planned

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 655,000 deaths each year.

That’s why in 1963 President Johnson declared February American Heart Month, to remind people of the symptoms, risk factors and steps they can take to improve their health while they are already thinking of heart matters for Valentine’s Day. Tragically, President Lyndon Baines Johnson died 10 years later from a heart attack at the age of 64.

In honor of National Heart Month, cardiologist Bethany Denlinger, MD, FACC, will speak on “Heart Disease and Women” virtually via Zoom Tuesday, Feb. 23, at noon. This 20-minute talk is open to the public. No registration is required.

“I like the problem-solving part of taking care of patients,” Denlinger said. “Some patients have typical complaints of chest pain, but sometimes not. Women have atypical symptoms of heart disease and can be more difficult to diagnose.”

Warning signs tend to differ for men and women, but chest pain is the most common complaint. Other signs include discomfort in other areas of the upper body like arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach, shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat or lightheadedness. Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Those suffering heart attack symptoms should not drive themselves to the emergency room. The patient could pass out and injure themselves or others. EMTs can provide time- and tissue-saving care to help the patient before they arrive at the hospital. Don’t worry about not being sure, because it is better to mistake the symptoms than permanently damage your heart by waiting.

National Wear Red Day is Friday, Feb. 5. Wear red to show support of heart health.