Monday, January 20, 2014

Heart disease: Deadly but under-publicized killer of women

Dr. Sara Sirna, a Loyola cardiologist, talks with WJOL Radio about the team approach that everyone at Loyola University Health System believes in.

She talks about how the No. 1 killer for both men and women is heart disease. However, many women don't know that. Women often fear breast cancer more than heart disease. Dr. Sirna talks about how groups are trying to raise awareness with the Red Dress campaign.

Women have different symptoms than men do and their heart disease can be harder to diagnose.Women who have heart disease are more likely to die of this than men. Also, men show symptoms at an earlier age than women. Men will have crushing chest pain or pain in the left arm, shortness of breath and sweatiness. Women may have only one symptom, which could be dizziness, palpitations, shoulder pain, flulike symptoms, fatigue and lightheadedness.

Women appear to be protected from heart disease because of the estrogen in their system. But after menopause, this protection disappears. Women are at the same risk as men 10 years after menopause.

Smoking is a huge risk factor for women. Other factors that increase the risk are high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, as well as age and family history. She said that small changes in lifestyle can make a big difference. You should also know what your numbers are for hypertension and cholesterol. She talks about how people often don't understand that we do need fat in our diet, but that it should be the right kind of fat, like avocados, nuts and fattier fish like salmon.

For more information about cardiovascuarl care at Loyola or to make an appointment, please visit or call 888-LUHS-888 (888-584-7888).

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.