Health Watch

Health Watch

 
text size

HEALTH WATCH: Heart disease is the number one killer of women

Updated: Wednesday, February 12 2014, 07:07 PM CST
Heart disease is the number one killer among women in the US.
Channel Three's Kathyrn Daniel meets a recovering cardiac patient who is out to change that grim statistic in tonight's Health Watch Report.

Laura McMichael says she was feeling sorta "weird".
"I thought, I'm getting older. I'm outa shape, I'm not exercising like I should."

McMichael says she felt lightheaded, would turn pale, get out of breath easily.

She says she thought she just had bad indigestion.  Turns out she didn't have heart burn but heart failure.

"If I hadn't of done this, I wouldn't be here to talk with you cause I had a 95-percent blockage."

McMichael had a series of heart stints put in.  None worked out long term.
On McMichael's 60th birthday--she had bypass surgery.

After three and half months recovery she feels better than ever and is an advocate for Heart Health Awareness for women.

"My symptoms weren't what I would expect to have you know, for a heart attack.  Major chest pains and stuff like that. They're different in women.  A lot different than what they are in men."

Exactly the message Interventional Cardiologist Charles Mayes shares with his female patients early--and often.
 
"Women are special and we ought to treat them specifically."
Mayes says for men -- heart risk is gradual and cumulative.

"For women, there's a dramatic change that occurs where you become post-menopausal, so your risk profile starts to really take off."

Mayes says estrogen and other female hormones protect the cardio system.  After menopause, women are much more vulnerable for heart problems need to be especially aware of female oriented symptoms, which can be vague.

"Sharp pain, maybe it's an electrical type sensation, maybe instead of pain you have some vague shortness of breath."

Mayes says his women patients often mistake heart attack symptoms for digestive problems.
He says everyone starting in their thirties should know where they stand on the controllable heart risk factors: cholesterol level, blood pressure, diabetes..

Mayes says all patients should keep a healthy handle on those.  Genetics is the one we can't control but knowing family history can help with prevention and intervention.   

McMichael says she knew heart disease ran very heavily all over her family  but was still shocked by her diagnosis.

"Surprised.  I had no clue.  None what so ever."
McMichael says she's exercising, eating properly and paying close attention to what her body is telling her...

"If you want to be around to enjoy your family, you have to do that."
For more heart health related information, click here:    

HEALTH WATCH: Heart disease is the number one killer of women


Advertise with us!

Related Stories

ABC National Health News

Warm Water Sparks Flesh-Eating Disease Warning in Florida
Florida health officials are warning beachgoers about a seawater bacterium that can invade cuts and scrapes and cause flesh-eating disease.
Why 6 Seconds of Exercise Can Be as Worthwhile as 90 Minutes
When it comes to exercise, even a little can go a long way.
Doctors Battling Ebola Are Met With Fear, Mistrust
Doctors Struggle To Contain Ebola Outbreak
Top Sierra Leone Doctor Dies of Ebola
Dr. Shek Umar contracted the virus while helping others.
Ebola, Spreading in Africa, Could Land in US
An Ebola outbreak that has killed at least 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone could land in the U.S., health officials said.
Fist Bumps Less Germy Than Handshakes, Study Says
Maybe athletes and President Obama are on to something.
What We Don’t Know About Lethal Injection Drugs
Drug doses and suppliers are sometimes kept secret, experts say.
Fear of Flying Amplified by Flurry of Air Disasters
Experts say flying can be 'perfect storm' for phobias.
Cards, and Love, Keep Pouring In for Little Boy Battling Cancer
Over 15,000 cards have been mailed to Danny Nickerson, the five-year-old battling cancer who is turning six tomorrow.
Report Raises Safety Questions on Popular Blood Thinner
Pradaxa has been linked to bleeding complications.
'Hero' Doctor Battling Ebola Spotlights Selflessness During Outbreak
The news that a doctor leading the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone has contracted the infection spotlights the selfless work of health care workers on the front lines of the outbreak.
Why It was Easier to Sleep in the Stone Age
You might sleep better on a “Stone Age� settlement, researchers say.
5 Things That Make You a Mosquito Magnet
You might want to rethink that backyard beer.
Baby Who Can't Open Mouth Celebrates First Birthday
Baby Wyatt still can't open his mouth despite WhatsWrongWithWyatt.com responses.
Sierra Leone Doctor Fighting Ebola Catches Disease
Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan has been called a national hero.
How 'NY Med' Neurosurgeon Prepares Patients for 'New Me'
By Philip Stieg, PhD, MD As chief of neurosurgery at a major teaching hospital, I am used to being observed — I always have students and residents watching me. Teaching is something I love to do, and nothing is more rewarding than mentoring the next...
Which Diet Gives the Best Bang for Your Buck?
A new study reveals how to lose more weight for less cash.
Cancer Lessons I Learned From a Fictional Teenage Boy
That love scene from "The Fault in Our Stars" is so intense.
How Hotter Summers Are Putting Swimmers at Risk
As families flock to pools and lakes to cool off, experts are warning about a risky consequence of climate change: waterborne disease.
Watch: NCAA Settles Class-Action Head Injury Lawsuit
The NCAA will create a $70 million fund to diagnose athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma while playing contact sports.
Watch: American Doctor Undergoing Treatment After Testing Positive for Ebola
Dr. Kent Brantly came into contact with the deadly virus while treating Ebola patients in Liberia.
Watch: Sierra Leone's Chief Ebola Doctor Catches the Virus
The latest victim in the fight against the deadly virus in West Africa is the man leading the fight.
11 Foods That Make You Hungrier
Feeling hungry? You should eat. But what if the foods you're eating actually make you hungrier than you were before you dug in? It's a more common conundrum than you might think.
8 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Right Now
From adding an extra ingredient to your smoothie to watching a funny YouTube video, you can fan your metabolism's flames in just minutes a day by adopting these research-backed habits.
14 Ways to Fight Hair Loss
Just because thinning is natural doesn't mean you have to accept it.
7 Subtle Signs You’re Drinking Too Much
How can you tell if you’re developing a problem? Not all the clues are the same for all people, but here are common signs you could be headed for trouble—and how to turn it around.
 

Enrollment for healthcare exchanges as part of healthcare reform begins October 1 in states where exchanges will be set up. Expect special reports each week from us about what you need to know about 'Obamacare' and the ongoing political fight about its future.

To Learn More About Health Care Reform, Click Here

Navigation

Sacred Heart Health System - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Cardiology - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Cancer Center - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Orthopedics - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Coastal Vein Institute - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
The Endoscopy Center - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Coastal Vascular & Interventional - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Stand Up Open MRI - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Advertise with us!

Tonight on ABC 3

06:30PM Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
07:00PM The Middle
07:30PM The Goldbergs
08:00PM Modern Family
08:31PM The Goldbergs
09:00PM Motive
10:00PM Channel 3 News

Complete ABC 3 Schedule