Ascension Michigan Heart Report: Dr. Koshy

Learn About Womens’ Heart Disease

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Question: What are the risk factors for heart disease with women?

Dr. Koshy: So, in general, the risk factors for heart disease are diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a family history of heart disease-- that includes you mother, father, and siblings with heart disease-- and a smoking risk. For women in particular, there are some risks, including if you’ve been pregnant preeclampsia or a eclampsia during pregnancy, as well as just stational diabetes and just stational hypertension.

Question: What are two things that women can do today to improve their heart health?

Dr. Koshy: So, the number one thing would be know your numbers. What I mean by this is know your risk factors. So know what your cholesterol is, know your blood sugar, your blood pressure is. The second thing is know what your symptoms are. Women have different symptoms than men. They may not always have chest pain with heart disease, instead they may have shortness of breath, back pain or jaw pain, so know your symptoms.

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