One in three women still die of heart disease, despite strong efforts in recent years to warn them of the risk. Thursday night, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital will reach out to women with its twelfth annual Wear Red event.
On Wednesday, WTAJ stopped by the hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation unit. We learned that despite the fact that the program is recommended for both genders, women only make up 20 percent of the patients.
Women still don’t realize how serious their risk from heart disease is, according to Denise Sheffield, R.N., J.C. Blair Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse Manager.
“It’s not a man’s disease and sometimes we think it happens to the elderly. It doesn’t happen to the elderly. My youngest cardiac patient was 24-years-old when she had her cardiac event,” Sheffield says.
She adds that in the past year, she’s worked with three 40-year-old women who suffered serious heart problems.
Sheffield says it’s important for women to know that their heart symptoms may differ from those of men. Instead of suffering chest pain, they may feel pain in the middle of the back between their shoulder blades. Other typical symptoms for women include nausea, vomiting, extreme fatigue, or weakness.