Heart Health Month: Don’t Ignore The Warning Signs
(NBC News) — In her late 40s, Yesenia Berbiar was living a heart-healthy lifestyle, but about a year ago she woke up one morning feeling off.
“I just felt dizzy, I felt drunk, I didn’t really think anything of it. And it wasn’t until I called my husband that he noticed a slur in my in my voice,” she recalls.
By the time she got to the hospital, she couldn’t smile or speak.
Doctors suspected a stroke, but ultimately discovered an undiagnosed heart condition that Yesenia was born with.
“I never in a million years would have imagined that it was going to happen to me,” she says.
This February, American Heart Health Month, doctors are reminding all adults, and especially younger women, to be on the lookout for symptoms of heart disease.
“Women less than 55 years old are having an increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum says, “And this is a population that we have always considered to be healthy and sort of immune to heart disease.”
Health experts cite increased stress as a possible cause and say warning signs for women can be subtle: Shortness of breath, jaw or back pain, or stroke-like symptoms including weakness in one side of the body.
“These symptoms are what we say call 911 the second this starts happening,” Dr. Steinbaum says.
They worry both women and men are less likely to get checked out right now, and a new survey by the Cleveland Clinic reveals 32 percent of Americans and 53 percent of heart disease patients have ignored at least one troubling symptom because of the pandemic.
“Please go to the doctor and get checked and if you have symptoms, don’t hold out, go to the emergency room and take care of yourself,” Dr. Steinbaum warns.
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