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While it is true that young women have less of a risk of developing heart problems, it is not well-known that after menopause, the risk for women increases and eventually becomes equal to that of men. While breast cancer is a common concern in women, the fact is that cardiovascular disease is by far the predominant cause of death in women.

While it is true that most indigestion episodes are caused by acidity and/or reflux disease of stomach, heart attack can present symptoms that are virtually the same. You shouldn’t ignore such symptoms, especially if you have other cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, or smoking.

The most common site for cardiac pain is in the middle of the chest, and it often involves pain in the left arm as well. But pain in the left arm is not always felt. Cardiac pain can be felt in the throat, right arm, or back. Therefore any chest discomfort needs medical attention, even if no left arm discomfort is felt.

While many patients believe that they can tell their blood pressure by the way they feel, studies have consistently shown that the ability to self-diagnose high blood pressure is largely a myth. “Hypertension Headache” is a misnomer. There is no specific feature that can diagnose high blood pressure as the cause of a headache. Hypertension is known as a “silent killer.”

Because hypertension often does not have any symptoms, it is important to regularly check your blood pressure and not rely on symptoms.

While it is good to be thin and physically fit, it does not rule out the presence of high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Fit individuals need to follow the same precautions as anybody else. Periodic check-ups on blood pressure and cholesterol are important regardless of your body weight or physical fitness.

It is true that a large and severe heart attack causes severely excruciating chest discomfort. However, most cardiac pain is not so obvious. Most commonly, cardiac pain is only a discomfort that is felt as a “fullness” inside the chest or pressure from outside, constricting the chest. Any chest discomfort regardless of severity should not be ignored.

Most large heart attacks produce symptoms that cannot be ignored. But heart attacks can occur without any symptoms or may occur with symptoms that do not arouse suspicion for heart attack. Therefore, a heart attack could occur in patients who have no prior knowledge of heart attack-related symptoms. Such a heart attack is labeled a “silent heart attack” and is usually discovered during ECG or other cardiac testing.

Excessive cholesterol intake can raise somebody’s blood cholesterol level as seen in patients who consume large amounts of red meat, egg yolk, etc. The human body, however, produces cholesterol naturally. In a large percentage of patients this alone can raise the cholesterol level. Therefore, blood cholesterol needs to be checked even in patients who have a low cholesterol intake in their diet.

This is not true. Unsaturated fats are actually good for cardiovascular health. On the other hand, saturated fats like those found in animal fats are very bad for cardiovascular health. Trans fatty acids commonly found in baked goods such as cookies and cakes are a newly diagnosed risk factor for cardiovascular health and should be limited in your diet.

While it is true that we now have medicines that are effective in controlling cardiovascular risk factors and in treating cardiac diseases, patient cooperation is essential. Eating well, staying fit, drinking in moderation, and avoiding smoking are keys to achieve the best health possible.

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it is provided for educational purposes only.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.