The number one killer of women

There are a few things you probably don't know about heart disease, especially how it affects women. 

Heart disease is the number one killer of women, but until recently, as Dr. Karen Latimer explains, cardiac issues were thought to be a men's health problem. The truth is that more women die from heart disease than men. In fact, 1 in 4 U.S. women die from heart disease.

Dr. Latimer explains that the stigma surrounding heart disease and the lack of awareness of its symptoms exacerbates the issue. "When you think heart attack, most people think crushing, severe chest pain," the physician asserts. "Women have a tendency to downplay our symptoms, ignore our symptoms, suffer in silence and we end up receiving treatment later....sometimes too late."

According to Mary C. Collins, a board-certified advanced practice nurse in cardiology at The Valley Hospital, part of the problem is that women's symptoms are often more subtle than men's. Many women will wait out their symptoms instead of seeking help, and for those that do seek help, they are often met by healthcare providers who don't associate women with heart disease.

The best protection is knowing what to watch out for. Women's symptoms can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Discomfort in the upper chest
  • Nausea

How can you lower your risk for heart disease? Here are the most important things you can do:

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise about five times a week
  • Know your personal risks

To learn more about heart health in women, watch the video above! 

12 PHOTOS
11 Important Foods You'll Want to Add to Your Diet
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11 Important Foods You'll Want to Add to Your Diet

Read on to discover 11 important foods you'll want to add to your diet.

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Soy Milk

Soy milk is a big source of protein and is full of calcium and iron. Other soy products like tofu contain B-complex vitamins, and using an ingredient like tofu is a great way to put some protein in your diet without adding unhealthy fat.

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Salmon

Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids.

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Oatmeal

Like salmon, oatmeal contains omega-3 fatty acids, along with soluble fiber.

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Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is full of polyphenols which can help prevent particular health issues.

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Blueberries

Blueberries contain anthocyanins and flavonoids as well as a number of other healthy nutrients.

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Tomatoes

You've probably heard that tomatoes are full of lycopene as well as beta- and alpha-carotene.

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Nuts

Nuts like almonds and walnuts are great for snacking and contain omega-3 fatty acids and fiber as well as vitamin E.

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Citrus

Citrus fruits like oranges are high in vitamin C.

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Tea

Tea is full of antioxidants that promote good health.

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Red Wine

Red wine contains resveratrol which some say gives it an added benefit.

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Green Vegetables

Green vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale are high in carotenoids.

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