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Doc Talk: Women and Heart Disease

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When it comes to women, there's often so much talk about breast cancer we forget there are other deadlier diseases.

Doctor Lenke Erki, a cardiologist with Holy Spirit, said "Most women, although we’ve come a long way, still think that it’s breast cancer or cancer is the number one killer of women but it’s heart disease."

The other thing women don't often realize is that if we have heart disease we may not experience chest pain at all.

For women, heart disease symptoms can also include nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. It's hard to know why women's symptoms present differently than men's when it comes to heart disease and heart problems.

But Doctor Lenke Erki says that's all the more reason for women to pay attention to their bodies.

Know your numbers. Know your sugar numbers. Are you diabetic? Know your cholesterol numbers. Know your blood pressure numbers.

She makes the same recommendations for women as she does for men: know your family history, eat a healthy diet, preferably a Mediterranean diet and exercise.

Also, stop smoking, drinking alcohol and tell your loved ones when you're experiencing any kind of strange symptoms.

The longer you wait to see a doctor, the more muscle dies in the heart and the less likely doctors can bring it back.

If you notice any sudden symptoms, talk to your doctor.

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