MOUNT VERNON — February is American Heart Month, and cardiac care professionals in the area are stepping up their efforts to educate the community, especially women, about heart health.
Because women tend to ignore their own health, Knox Community Hospital sponsored a Go Red for Women luncheon at the Mount Vernon Country Club on Friday. The information provided highlighted the fact that heart disease, unlike what many believe, is not just a man’s disease. Featured speakers Dr. Cindy Baker and Tammy Joseph elaborated on that fact, talked about women and heart disease and offered strategies for heart healthy lives.
“Women often seem to be, or think they are, too busy to take care of themselves,” said Joseph, a certified nurse practitioner.
Pointing out the error in that way of thinking, she outlined the risk factors, habits and lifestyle choices which affect heart health. Joseph said many risk factors, such as tobacco use, not exercising and depression, are modifiable. In discussing common early symptoms occurring in women before a heart attack, Joseph said chest pain or discomfort is one of the least common in women.
An interventional cardiologist with Heart Specialists of Ohio, Baker spoke about congestive heart failure and common signs and causes of heart failure.
“Educational events such as this luncheon are important, because women in particular don’t know enough about heart health,” Baker said.
Describing the physical changes heart disease causes, Baker pointed out that men usually suffer from systolic heart failure while women tend to experience diastolic heart failure.