American Heart Association raises awareness for women's heart disease

American Heart Association raises awareness for women's heart disease

Amarillo, TX - The American Heart Association estimates 30 percent of people in the Panhandle are considered obese, which can lead to heart disease.

"Heart attacks, heart problems present themselves completely different for women, so it takes a little more investigation," said Don Thompson who is the CEO of the Cardiology Center of Amarillo.

"Women have different symptoms that, frequently, which can be as vague as bloating or stomach pain, to sweating or nausea," Dr. David Brabham who is a Cardiologist at the Cardiology Center of Amarillo said.

Here in Amarillo they have a piece of technology which is helping them better detect heart disease, especially in women.

"The PET camera which is more sensitive, we have one of those here, there's only about 25 of those in the state of Texas, it's a very sensitive test to find hidden coronary disease," explained Brabham.

There are also two types of heart disease which effect women more often than men.

"There is a condition called...Microvasulcar Dysfunction, often called Syndrome X, where the smallest arteries in the heart, not the big arteries we worry about and study so much, the smallest arteries in the heart become dysfunctional and cause typical symptoms of heart pains," Brabham said. "The second disease that affects women more than men is something called "Broken Heart Syndrome" or Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, and that's when you have an emotional stress that causes you to have a bad heart dysfunction, it's usually transient and will go away over time, but it certainly affects women more than men."

Brabham says raising awareness about heart disease is important because of the risk it has especially for women.

"It is very important for  women to understand the risk for heart disease because it's the number one killer in women, it's the number one killer in men, but people also don't realize it's the number one killer in women, it kills more people each year than the cancers, all the cancers combined," Brabham said.

To increase awareness of women's heart disease the American Heart Association is having a luncheon this Tuesday, February 11th at the Amarillo Civic Center in addition to today being their "Go Red for Women" day.

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