Modern Medicine: Heart Disease and Women - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Modern Medicine: Heart Disease and Women

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Panama City, Fla. -

Heart Disease is the leading killer of women.  There are ways to lower your risks --- the first step is to recognize that there's a problem.

When we think of heart attack, we think of chest pain.  In women, that symptom may not exist.

A routine check-up for Sharon Robertson led to a startling discovery, and the need for coronary artery bypass surgery.

"I would have had a heart attack because it was a 90 percent blockage," said Robertson.  She says she had no noticeable symptoms. 

However, she notes, "looking back I realize I was out of breath a lot."

Doctors say not recognizing symptoms is not unusual for women.

Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Samir Patel explains that "men usually present with chest pain, classic symptoms you seen on TV, 60 - 70 percent of the time. Women present with typical symptoms only about half the time."

Dr. Patel says there are other clues that something may be going on, "They may present with fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, they may feel like they have the flu."

The important lesson is that if you don't feel normal, don't ignore it.

Robertson is now working out regularly at Bay Medical Center's Cardiac Rehab Program and is feeling great.