According to the Center for Disease Control, a woman dies from some form of cardiovascular disease every 80 seconds in the United States. While those statistics are staggering, according to Dr. Scott Weslow, cardiologist with Aurora BayCare Cardiology, heart disease is also mostly preventable.
“Four out of the five (biggest risk factors) … are controllable,” says Weslow. “The only part you can’t control is your genetics. In some people just that is enough to lead to heart disease and death… but for most of us it’s the other four that are playing the major role.”
In February, Weslow participated in a Facebook Live question and answer session on women’s heart health.
He discussed the common risk factors of heart disease in men and women and discussed the potential warning signs of heart disease that women might experience.
Educating women about the prevalence of heart disease is important, he says.
Heart disease affects women just as often as men, but women tend to explain the symptoms away as something else.
Don’t ignore symptoms, he says.
“Women know their bodies,” Weslow says, “If something doesn’t feel right, it could be something more serious.”
Throughout the video, Dr. Weslow also discusses preventative measures and what women can do to protect themselves from experiencing a cardiovascular episode.