The number-one killer of women today isn’t breast cancer, car wrecks or domestic violence. It’s heart disease, which we still tend to under-rate as a threat to life and health. Ames cardiologist Doctor Denise Sorrentino says once researchers studied only men’s heart disease, though women are equally at risk.
While the risk factors for getting heart disease are the same for men and women, she says the symptoms they show when they have heart disease, and the outcome of their disease and treatment are a lot different. Sorrentino says unfortunately, more women die from their first heart attack then men. “More women develop congestive heart failure, or a weakened heart muscle, after heart attacks,” she says, “and one in three women will die with cardio-vascular disease.”
Dr. Sorrentino says women unaware of the relative risk can be blindsided by their focus on topics besides their heart-health. “It really is the number-one killer of women of all ages,” Sorrentino says, “and women are still more aware of their cancer risk.” She says they’re concerned more about breast, ovarian or other kinds of cancer than about focusing on their risk for heart disease and trying to make changes that would cut that risk.
A luncheon today (Friday) at the Gateway Center hotel in Ames and afternoon workshops will teach women about the risk of heart disease, one of many local events going on around the nation with the theme “Go Red For Women.” The event’s also a fundraiser for the Iowa chapter of the American Heart Association.