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 part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, 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 a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.