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Have a heart to heart

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By Fiona Reid
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Have a heart to heart

WOMEN in Dumfries and Galloway are being urged to look out for each others’ heart health.

The call was made this week by Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) on International Women’s Day.

And the charity flagged up that although ten women a day in Scotland die from heart disease, women regularly under-estimate their risk of heart related illness

So they are urging females to have a ‘heart to heart’ with other women in their lives in a bid to tackle Scotland’s biggest killer.

In addition, CHSS is concerned there is a lack of awareness as to how the symptoms of heart attack can be different in women than men as much of the research and resulting information has been based on how heart attack symptoms present in males.

Explaining more, CHSS clinical adviser and GP Dr Amy Small said: “We know that women in Scotland are at significant risk of heart disease and heart attack.

“Heart attack symptoms are often overlooked in women, which is why we need to be looking out for the women in our lives to ensure they are looking after their heart health.

“Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or upper belly (abdomen) discomfort, shortness of breath, pain in one or both arms, nausea, or vomiting are all potentially signs of a heart attack.

“Sweating, light-headedness or dizziness, unusual fatigue and even heartburn could also be linked to heart health.”

“By starting conversations about heart disease risks, including family history, and heart attack symptoms amongst women, we hope more women will seek urgent medical help for heart disease and heart attack.”

The charity’s chief executive Jane-Claire Judson added: “There is a misconception that heart disease mainly affects men, which leads to women being more likely to dismiss heart attack symptoms as having another cause. This can lead them to delay seeking help or treatment, which in turn can cost lives.

“Women are often too busy looking after others to look after ourselves. This is why we’re urging women in Dumfries and Galloway to take time to have a heart to heart with the other women in their lives to discuss heart health, and make sure their mums and sisters get the urgent help they need when facing serious heart health conditions.”

n To find out more about women’s heart health go to chss.org.uk or contact the advice line on 0808 801 0899.

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