February Is Heart Month

Corydon, January 28, 2016: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, equal to 1 in every 4 deaths. Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.

To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, Wayne County Hospital and Clinic System (WCHCS) is proudly participating in American Heart Month.
We are providing each of our Cardiac Rehabilitation patients a Heart Care T-shirt in recognition of their dedication to improve their personal heart health.

WCHCS has offered Cardiac Rehabilitation Services since 2012 under the direction of Denise Sheston, RN. This Phase 2 program provides outpatient rehabilitation following a heart attack, heart surgery or intervention procedures such as stenting and angioplasty. “It means a great deal to me personally to be able to work with these patients at a time they are feeling quite vulnerable. To help build not only their physical strength, but also their emotional confidence, so they are able to enjoy life again, is very gratifying,” commented Sheston.

Often overlooked, the risk of heart disease and heart attacks in women is particularly concerning as it presents differently. Based on American Heart Association findings, artery blockages are less obvious in women because clogging plaques do not stick out in the artery walls making detection more difficult. In addition, warnings come in different forms, although both sexes feel chest pain during a heart attack, women can have other symptoms like neck or jaw pain, back pain, pain in the arms, shortness of breath and palpitations minus the chest pain. Women may also have nausea and feel a sense of dread. Furthermore, biological variables unique to women such as hormonal fluctuation also account for the difference. This means that many heart attack symptoms in women
often go undetected for long periods of time or are simply mistaken for other health conditions.

Heart attack is the primary cause of death in women not just in the U.S. but all over the world. In 2014 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported almost 50,000 heart attack deaths among women. Additionally, type 2 diabetes and hypertension, known risk factors for heart attack, are more dangerous for women. Depression also raises women’s risk for heart attacks by 50 percent.
Unfortunately, women tend to delay getting treatment by an average of 54 hours compared to men, who seek treatment up to 16 hours after experiencing the symptoms. Despite stunning improvements in cardiovascular deaths over the last decade, women still fare worse than men and heart disease in women remains under diagnosed, and undertreated.

Everyone can make healthy changes to lower their risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk: watch your weight; quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke; control your cholesterol and blood pressure; if you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation; get active and eat healthy.

For more information on heart disease and cardiac rehabilitation services, talk with your provider, visit http://www.cdc.gov/HeartDisease/facts.htm or call Denise Sheston, RN at 641-872-2260 ext: 5348.

Ref: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; American Heart Association; Headlines and Global News “Heart Attack Warning Signs Different in Women Than in Men, Says Report