Heart Disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. But more women, one in four, die from Heart Disease than all forms of cancer combined. Heart patients are also getting - younger. But doctors say you don't have to be a victim. In this month's Health Check, Serese Cole tells us what we can all do to improve our heart health.
It's 31-year-old Cathy Schwaar's first trip back to the Cath Lab at the Fremont Area Medical Center. While she can't remember much about her time here, she can't forget why she came.
Cathy Schwaar, " I just kind of felt this tightening in my chest and the thing that really scared me was that I had this kind of numbing felt in my left arm."
Today, she's getting a first-hand look at the blocked artery that caused her symptoms. With the help of a stent, Cardiologist John Henry was able to get Cathy's blood flowing, but he's seeing more heart attack patients her age.
Dr. John Henry, "Most people aren't doing exercise like they should and then also with our busy lifestyles we're not eating right."
Serese Cole, "The good news is there are things we we can all do to reduce our risk of Cardiovascular Disease like know more about your own health like your blood pressure, cholesterol and family history."
Dr. Henry, "If you are a high risk of diabetes, because we have family members with diabetes, we need to go in and get screened for that.
We should know the warnings signs, too . The most common is chest discomfort. For women there's also upper body pain.
Dr. Henry, "Either one arm or both arms, neck or jaw pain. They can even have pain in the upper abdomen area. They also will more likely have nausea, sweating and maybe just unexplained fatigue."
Cathy is making healthier choices. She's hoping it will keep her heart healthy so she doesn't end up here - again.
Dr. Henry says most of what you can do to lower your risk is independent of any doctor or medication - like exercising 30 minutes a day at least five days a week, not smoking and avoiding foods high in saturated fat - along with being aware and staying on top of your risk factors.