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Everyone Looks Beautiful in Red...Did You Go Red Today?

Today is Go Red for Women with Heart Disease. This event has never been so important to me. I have spent this past week and will spend most of the month of February speaking about WomenHeart and women with or at risk for heart disease. 

It has been so interesting meeting women who have had their own cardiac events or they know they are at risk but are afraid to confront it, or are just interested in learning about it.

One in three women will die of heart disease. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in  both women and men. More women will die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. More men have heart attacks but more women will die from them.  

Women experience cardiac events very differently compared to men. Our symptoms are different. They may not be as dramatic as men's. Testing during, or immediately following, a heart attack may prove inconclusive or appear to have "normal" results. If the ER docs don't recognize the symptoms a woman presents with, the patient will be sent home often after being told she is having anxiety, indigestion or she is dehydrated or some other misclassification of her symptoms, only to possibly go to sleep and have a fatal cardiac event later. Her chances of survival are dramatically increased if she has a female cardiologist tending to her.

Our physiology is different from men's beyond the obvious so we do not respond to treatment the same way men do. Most of the testing historically has been performed on men and no distinction is made for the physiological differences women have on dosing and other aspects of treatment. 

Heart disease is not just reserved for men. Women need to be able to advocate for themselves when they find themselves in a situation that is potentially life threatening. You know your body more than anyone else, so do not allow yourself to be marginalized or dismissed. It could be a matter of life and death. 

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