Heart disease in women is more common than most people believe.
Heart disease is responsible for more deaths in women than combined cancers.
News Channel 10's Noelle Gardner meets a local woman who fought heart disease through determination.
When Lori Gollihugh complained of crushing pain in her chest and back.. pain that never went away she went to her doctor.
Lori says, "They really thought that I was just having stomach issues because the EKG was normal.
Lori was sent home thinking it was acid reflux.
Lori adds, "I really thought it was just stomach problems...I wasn't having a heart attack- even though I knew family history and knew it was a good possibility that I was but in my mind I was thinking that I'm not having one...it couldn't happen to me."
Much later Lori ended up in the emergency room.
It turned out she was having a heart attack.
Doctor Jon Haddad treated Lori.
Doctor Haddad says, "She had a right coronary inclusion and she had a stent placed in and has done very well since."
Lori says, "knowing now.. heart disease does not have an age limit...it can happen to anyone."
Doctor Haddad says heart disease usually affects women later than men. That's because women are protected by estrogen prior to menopause and when women reach menopause heart disease usually catches up.
Doctor Haddad is not surprised so many women have heart disease, "I actually have more women patients than men and I think women rather are more aware or coronary disease and symptoms that may be present as coronary disease."
Lori says, "If I can help anybody out there that's my goal. I want everybody to know so they don't have to go through what I went through."
Lori tells me it's her determination that has kept her going.
The American Heart Association is trying to raise awareness about heart disease in women www.goredforwomen.org for more information.
More on the Web:
Stop Heart Disease
Go Red For Women is challenging one million women to stop heart disease and Go Red. Women can take action against their No. 1 killer by taking the Go Red Heart CheckUp. An online, 10-year risk assessment, the CheckUp will help women calculate their risk of heart disease. Take the CheckUp and learn how to make healthy habits part of your daily routine.