By Kristin Beerman | email
Edited by Jon Bush | email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Friday was the day to wear red because the American Heart Association kicked off their "Go Red for Women" movement to raise awareness of heart disease in women. They add that you're never too young to get heart healthy.
Sheila Dutton had a massive heart attack at just 32-years-old. "It was pretty scary because I just was like how could this happen? I'm healthy, I eat right, I exercise, you know? Every emotion was running through my body," said Sheila Dutton, a heart attack survivor. She adds, "Our risk for heart disease starts early, perhaps even before the age of 20."
The American Heart Association is trying to get the word out that heart disease is the number one killer in women, saying it's crucial for young women to get into heart healthy habits early in life starting with exercise. Scientists know now that exercise can help lower blood pressure, raise good cholesterol, lower the bad cholesterol, and reduce stress. Also, quitting smoking and getting to a healthy weight can help lower your risk of heart disease. Sheila didn't have any of the typical risk factors for a heart attack, but doctors say the best thing she did was trust her intuition and get medical attention as soon as she suspected that something was very wrong.
"You are your own woman, you know? You should know your own body, and if you're not feeling well, don't put it off. Don't wait because it's your life," said Nieca Goldberd, M.D., a cardiologist with the American Heart Association.
Chest discomfort is one of the most obvious sign of a heart attack, but the AHA says there can be other signs. Women may also break out into a cold sweat and experience shortness of breath, nausea, and pain in the back or jaw.
©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.