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Heart attack survivor shares warning sign that saved her life



 Heart attack survivor shares

Heart attack survivor shares

Heart attack survivor shares

Heart attack survivor shares

Heart attack survivor shares

February is American Heart Month. Feb. 1 is also known as National Wear Red Day to Support the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Movement.

While nearly 80 percent of cardiac events are ongoing, the cardiovascular disease continues to be a woman's greatest health threat. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S.

According to the American Heart Association, heart attack symptoms for women are not the same.

That's what happened to Lynda Diederich, of Evansville. Lynda said, "I started having symptoms in October but I had every symptom I had."

Lynda is a mother of three who often works as a nurse consultant. Lynda said, "I had shortness of breath when I would go through airports. I figured it was a difference in altitude because I was in Denver. I would be tired and exhausted and I was making the time change from East Coast to West Coast. I had pain between my shoulders and I thought it might be my computer bag. I was able to justify every symptom that I had. "

On Nov. 19, Lynda was in Chicago for work. She said, "I'm very thankful I was not farther away. I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and started googling "heart attacks and women." I packed my stuff, I got myself down to my car and I drove myself to the hospital, which I absolutely do not recommend. Another thing I did that is I do not recommend, I parked my own vehicle in the garage and walked myself into the emergency room. I should not have done that.

Tests showed Lynda's blood work and electrocardiogram were normal. Lynda asked her cardiologist to perform on angiogram. An angiogram is a medical imaging technique used to visualize the inside of the heart. The test showed the left anterior descending artery at Lynda's heart which was 98% blocked. A blockage in the left coronary artery is commonly known as "the widow maker."

Lynda said, "I was shocked. It really took me back because I was not expecting that. I'm pretty healthy and I'm very active. I work constantly and I'm always on my feet for work. I was shocked and scared every day. You can not remove a heart. Your heart decides when it's going to be done and you just do not know it's going to be. You really need to pay attention to your symptoms. "

Dr. Thomas Wallhaus is Lynda's cardiologist at Unity Point Health Meriters. Dr. Wallhaus says the major risk factors for heart disease in women are smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes and inactivity. Heart attacks are more lethal in women than men.

Wallhaus said, "A woman who has a heart attack is more likely to die than a man who has a heart attack. Within a year of having a heart attack, a woman's risk of dying is much higher than a man's. If you are a woman smokes, the risk of having a problem is higher. "

Women often have different symptoms than men." Most commonly, chest pain and pressure in the chest is radiating down to the arm is how angina in women, they may be short of breath, feel nauseous or sometimes, they have back pain. "

Dr. Wallhaus says: "All you need is some key numbers."

"No 1: Know your risk factors and be aware of your cholesterol, your blood pressure, your body's mass index, and your health seriously." There's exercise, adequate sleep, healthy relationships, mindfulness, and meditation. "

Family history is also a major risk factor, Lynda said, "My mom and I

Lynda credits the sudden and tragic loss of her cousin's husband Keith from a heart attack with saving her life. Lynda said, "He lived in Southern California. He was a surfer, a mountain biker and runner. He was 57 years old and had a massive heart attack while running and passed away. He'd had a stress test months before he died. It was normal. If he had been able to have an angiogram, his life would have been saved. Keith did not do that in vain. His death saved my life. "

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