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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
SW: HealthNews Channel
Reported October 8, 2012

What You Don't Know About Your Heart Could Kill You!

LOS ANGELES, CA (Ivanhoe Newswire)-- Heart disease—it’s the number one cause of death for women. It takes the lives of more people than all cancers combined. It's not surprising that a new survey from the American Heart                    Association revealed 47% of American women who believe they are having a heart attack do not call 911. Some believe it’s what women don’t know that's killing them.

In this sea of runners, KC Maurer is running for her life and thankful she has a one.

"It’s 26.4 miles. I did 489 miles worth of training," Maurer told Ivanhoe. She had three heart attacks before she was 40 years old.

"It felt like somebody had punched me in the sternum and that’s the only pain I had," Maurer explained.

The second heart attack occurred 14 months later--six weeks later, another attack.

Cardiologist Holly Anderson says while heart disease has been decreasing the past decade for men, it’s on the rise in women between 25 and 39. In fact, by age 40 women have a 50 percent chance of developing heart disease.

Stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, or unexplained sweating can all be signs of a heart attack. While classic signs of a heart attack can occur, women are more likely to have gas, pain in the jaw, shoulder and upper back and extreme fatigue.

"Sometimes the first symptom is sudden death." Holly Andersen, MD at The Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute told Ivanhoe.

For a healthy heart, women should have a waistline measuring 29 inches or less. Even a half inch off your waistline will make a dramatic difference.

According to the American Heart Association, a woman who smokes will have a heart attack 19 years earlier than non smokers. But caffeine is not much better. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system which speeds up the heart rate.

"I don’t drink soda anymore," Maurer said.

Maurer's arteries were going into spasms. Medication now keeps the spasms under control giving her a better control of her heart and her life.

"I try to laugh every day. I try to see friends every day," Maurer continued. "Put yourself first and have the definition of success change slightly to include living well."

A recent survey found that less than one in five physicians knew that more women than men die each year from heart disease. That’s why it’s important for you to be your own health advocate. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and blood cholesterol level once a year.

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