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Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center gets heart healthy, urges people to ‘Know Your Numbers’

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in women.

The American Heart Association says 1 in 3 women dies from the disease, and that’s why February is American Heart Month.

Sadly, the news isn’t surprising to Dr. Aysha Arshad, Medical Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, “Women are often busy with day to day tasks, taking care of others, taking care of their family. They neglect their own health until things become much worse for them.”

Every day, Dr. Arshad sees women who have heart issues which haven’t been addressed, “The data for heart failure and women who suffer heart attacks show they come in much sicker and they’re much more difficult to treat because they’ve let so much time lapse.”

Part of the issue is women’s heart attack symptoms can differ from men’s, “They may not have crushing chest pains, they may have jaw or neck pain. Or maybe, be a little sweaty. Or perhaps, have a difference in exercise capacity,” explains Dr. Arshad.

The sooner a woman is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin.

Dr. Arshad says knowledge is power and offers this advice, “Recognize the early symptoms for heart disease, be a good advocate for your own cardiovascular health, follow up with your doctor should you develop any of those symptoms and know there are newer technologies that have developed that are simpler, more efficient and cosmetically better.”

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is helping people in their mission to be heart healthy, to do that, we’re inviting people to “Know Your Numbers.” Individuals with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are more likely to have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and be overweight. Knowing your numbers is a crucial step in assessing your risk of developing heart disease, as many times there are no symptoms. This event includes complimentary screening of blood pressure, calculation of body mass index (BMI,) measurement of cholesterol and HbA1c levels (blood sugar) and an optional, pocket EKG screening is available for $20.

Registration is required. To register, call 1-800-SENTARA.

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