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"Seeing Red" Can Save Women's Lives

February 6, 2007


February is American Heart month, and a "Go Red" campaign is alerting women to the risk of heart disease, the number one cause of death for women nationwide.

Dr. Susan Farkas, a cardiologist at MeritCare in Fargo, says women should watch for warning signs, because heart disease does not always present itself as a full-blown heart attack.

"Sometimes women present with very atypical symptoms. Sometimes they have fatigue or shoulder pain or back pain, which could be due to heart disease."

Chest discomfort, nausea and vomiting are also warning signs of a heart problem. But, Farkas, says women need to watch out for symptoms in order to determine when it is time to see a doctor.

"You should normally feel well, because pain is not a normal part of our lives. If you do feel some kind of discomfort, anything that could be related to your heart, such as shortness of breath, it should be checked out because this is the leading symptom in many women.

Anyone can evaluate his or her risk for a heart attack with the Go Red Heart CheckUp, online at www.GoRedND.com.

Debbie Aasen/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - ND