Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Does Heart Disease Have a "Look?"

I really like the following article because it relays the fact that heart disease doesn’t have a “look.” A woman who looks like she’s in great shape, eats fairly well and doesn’t smoke can still get heart disease people! Read on people, read on…

Heart disease is the number one killer of American women, and what may surprise you is that it doesn't just affect those who are older and out of shape.

Shelly Martel was 43, exercised regularly, didn't smoke and ate somewhat healthy.

Then she had a heart attack.

Her near death experience caught her completely off guard, and her story serves as a wake up call during this Heart Disease Awareness Month for Women.

"Thinking back, I'm trying to decide," Martel says. "Did I know this was coming on? I really can't say that I did."

That's because Martel isn`t your typical heart attack victim.

"I don't know how I had a heart attack, I just did," she says.

"To look at her you would not think she`s a woman with heart disease because she's slim, she's trim, she's in shape, she eats right, she exercises, I mean she does everything right," says Judy Meyers, coordinator of cardiac rehab at St. Alexius.

Still four years ago, as Martel was ironing her clothes for the next work day as a lab technician, she was hit with tightness in her chest and the other tell tale sign of an impending heart attack.

"I had horrible, horrible left arm pain and I kept thinking to myself," Martel says. "If I could just cut off my left arm that pain would be gone it was just excrutiating. It's the worst pain I've ever had."

So she drove herself to St. Alexius's emergency room, and 45 minutes later she went into cardiac arrest.

"I had chest compressions and the whole electric shock to bring me back," says Martel.

And she's lucky they were able to. Cardiologist John Windsor says the odds were against her..."

50 percent of women over the age of 45 will die from coronary artery disease, 75 percent of women over the age of 65 will die from coronary artery disease," Windsor says. "It is the leading killer."

Since Martel's brush with death four years ago, she’s had seven stents inserted into in her heart and has found out she likely has heart disease because it runs in her family. Her advice to other woman? Get to the ER or call 911 if you experience any chest pains, regardless of your age or health level. She says she likely would not be here to tell her story if she hadn’t.

***Fellow bloggers, it is evident from this article that you can't look at someone and determine whether they are at risk for heart disease. You have so many tools in your toolbox to help combat your risk for heart disease - lose the excess weight, don't smoke, eat heart health foods, make regular visits to your physician. By incorporating margarine into a heart healthy diet, you can rest assured that you are taking just one more step in reducing your risk.***


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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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