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Heart Health Month is for Both Men and Women

Contact: 
Christa Dean Hild 
850-747-6542

Panama City, Forida  Earlier this month we had Go Red for Women day, where you were encouraged to wear red to bring attention to women's heart health issues. But with February being heart health month we believe you can't get the message out often enough.

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States, and there are ways you can keep from becoming a victim.

Heart disease does not discriminate - it can happen to anyone.

Interventional Cardiologist Amir Haghighat says he sees patients ranging from their late 20s, as well as those in their 90s.

When it's genetics, you don't have too much control over it. But more often than not, it's your life style.

"A lot of patients who continue to smoke or don't get their blood pressure checked or treated or just believe it can't possibly happen to them - end up showing up in the emergency room with a big problem," says Dr. Haghighat.

Your diet and physical activity also play a huge role.

But when it comes to women and heart disease - it can get a little tricky.

Women present differently from men and each patient is unique in how he presents or she presents.

Dr. Haghighat says often times we think of chest pressure or crushing chest pain as the main presenting symptom for heart disease, but it could come with numbness or neck pain or arm pain, sometimes sudden sweating or sudden shortness of breath that's unexplained by any other reason.

"I can't tell you how often I've seen a patient who says that she thought it was her stomach acid disease or reflux."

Women are also busy taking care of the needs of their families and often neglect themselves.

But Dr. Haghighat stresses, "You must take care of yourself to be alive and well for all those others that you care for."

If you're having symptoms that are not going away, call 911 because time is an issue.

"So the message to the listeners out there is it could happen to you. It's not a disease for men versus women, it's still the number one cause of death in both men and women."

Bay Medical is hosting a heart health fair Saturday, February 25 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

It will be held in the Medical Office Building auditorium.

You'll hear from Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Samir Patel and Dietitian Cindy Shipman.

There will also be numerous free health screenings including blood pressure, body fat, glucose and peripheral vascular disease.