Essentia Cardiologist Talks Heart Attack, Stroke Prevention on Go Red for Women Day
Cardiologist Dr. Katie Benziger Explains Why We Go Red for Women on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021
DULUTH, Minn. – On the first Friday each February, American Heart Month, the nation rallies together to ignite a wave of red from coast to coast.
Go Red for Women Day serves to raise awareness for heart attack and stroke among women.
According to the American Heart Association, more women than men die from cardiovascular disease each year.
It’s estimated one in three women will die due to complications with heart disease or stroke.
“Every day in my clinic I see women who suffer from heart disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, all sort of different conditions that affect the heart,” said Dr. Katie Benziger, a cardiologist with Essentia Health in Duluth.
When it comes to why it’s a bigger problem for women versus men, Dr. Benziger says traditional risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and being overweight play a big role. Other factors such as stress are also triggers for heart attack and stroke.
“It’s a big problem in our country and our region. We want to raise awareness, share their stories, and know their risk to prevent them from being part of the statistic,” said Benziger.
Dr. Benziger encourages women to know what their risk is for cardiovascular disease.
“If your risk is elevated, you should talk to your doctor about medications or lifestyle changes you could implement in your routine,” said Dr. Benziger.
It’s recommended women get 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
The American Heart Association says 80 percent of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.
If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.
- As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.