(NAPSI)—Stop for a moment and think about what you fear most. Is it health related? For you? For a loved one? Maybe it has to do with the heart.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women1 and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. In fact, it is estimated that heart disease kills approximately one woman every minute. And women may experience symptoms differently than the more commonly known symptoms men experience. What if there is a way to know whether you should be worried? Would you want to know?
The first step is learning. Learning how to recognize signs of heart disease and one of its most common forms: obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD), which causes one in seven deaths in the U.S.2
Now, a new health education campaign called Spread the Word™ is encouraging women and the men who love them to get the facts about the symptoms of obstructive CAD. HealthyWomen, Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, Coalition of Labor Union Women and Society of Women’s Health Research want you to get informed.
What is Coronary Artery Disease?
Coronary artery disease is the hardening and narrowing of the arteries that provide vital oxygen and nutrients to the heart.
What Symptoms Look Like
What you need to know is diagnosing obstructive coronary artery disease can be difficult, even more so in women because they can experience symptoms differently than men. So, what can this look like?
Common Symptoms in Men
- Chest discomfort, tightness, pain or pressure
- Shortness of breath
Common Symptoms in Women
- Unexplained fatigue or sudden onset of weakness
- Tightness or pressure in the throat, jaw, shoulder, abdomen, back or arm
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Squeezing, heaviness, or burning sensation in the upper body
- Abdominal discomfort or fullness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Body aches
What You Can Do
There are several diagnostic tests available for obstructive CAD, including exercise stress tests and cardiac imaging. There’s also a simple blood test that uses age, sex and gene expression (the Corus®CAD test) to get an at the moment look at your risk of obstructive CAD, is designed with women in mind and can help doctors rule out obstructive CAD as the cause of your symptoms. Some tests carry certain risks, like radiation exposure, while others do not. They all have their uses. What’s important is to talk to your doctor to determine which is right for you.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of obstructive CAD, talk to your doctor. And if you want to raise awareness of obstructive CAD as an important women’s health issue, join in and Spread the Word™! Visit www.GoSpreadtheWord.com, to find health information and tools that can be used to discuss testing options.
Quick Tips for Women: If you have symptoms of obstructive coronary artery disease, what should you ask your doctor?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of each testing option (including risks and side effects)?
- Are there any tests more appropriate for women?
- What lifestyle changes will best improve my health, and what are my treatment options?
To learn more about obstructive CAD and testing options for women, please visit www.GoSpreadtheWord.com.
1. American Heart Association. Facts about Cardiovascular Disease in Women. Available at www.goredforwomen.org/home/about-heart-disease-in-women/facts-about-heart-disease/. Last accessed on December 18, 2014.
- Mozzafarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2015 Update: A Report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2015;131:e29-e322.