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Eye On Health

EOH: Women and Heart Disease

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Ruth Bresson considers herself very fortunate.

Ruth Bresson, survivor says "I had two incidents at night that woke me up intense burning sensation in my chest."

But Ruth says she ignored them before her husband finally persuaded her to go to the doctor.  It's a good thing she did..

Ruth Bresson says, "He said mam you have a large mas on your valve and you're going to have open heart surgery in less than 48 hours."

Doctors say that surgery most likely saved Ruth's life.

Over the last decade or so, doctors have noticed that heart attacks in women can be very different than in men.

Dr. Laxmi Mehta, Cardiologist, The Ohio State University, says, "But it hasn't been compiled together about what are the symptoms, what are the treatments, what are the types of heart attacks that women experience."

Now it has been compiled and published by the American Heart Association in an 87 page scientific statement.

Doctors say the heart attack differences in women can be stark and are often deadly.

Dr. Laxmi Mehta says, "When women are having heart attacks, their recognition is often delayed, it can be a few hours, could be days."

Ruth Bresson says, "I honestly had not paid attention to symptoms for women  or how varied they can be."

While both sexes have chest pain, women can have shoulder or jaw pain, or mistake heart attacks for heartburn or the flu. 

That's why Ruth says it is so important to be informed.

Ruth Bresson says, " I tell them know what you know and go to the American Heart Association, Go Red For Women, they're the ones out front doing the research."

And that research is making a difference for women like Ruth.

Ruth Bresson says, "When you're one of the fortunate ones to emerge well and have been healed, every little thing that happens positive or negative informs how I feel about it and my response."

Ruth has lots of little, but very precious reasons to take care of her heart.  

Additional Information:

National Wear Red Day Proclamation at Chattanooga City Hall will be February 5, at 9:00 a.m.

You're encouraged to "Wear Red!"

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