Cardiac disorders more common in women than cen
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robin kuniski/for metro calgary
More women are affected by heart disease than breast cancer and most don’t even know it, according to a local health group.
February is heart month in Calgary and the Women’s Heart Initiative (WHI) wants women to know they are seven times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer — which means one in every three women will succumb to the ailment.
"Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Canadian women but unfortunately the awareness is not there. It doesn’t get the same attention as breast cancer but more women die from it," Cheryl Proctor, program coordinator of WHI told Metro.
The WHI wants to raise awareness in women especially in the 18-35-year-old age group who can start taking preventative measures against heart diseases and strokes. "It’s never too early to start thinking about heart disease and taking measures against it. Time is of the essence."
Proctor recommends women eat healthy, exercise, do regular cholesterol and blood sugar check-ups and avoid smoking.
Although those recommendations will help ensure women a fighting chance against heart disease, it can’t guarantee it.
Diane Bullis was on the verge of a massive heart attack five years ago when she was only 49 years old and at the time only experienced mild flu-like symptoms.
"I didn’t know I was on the verge of a heart attack until I was rushed to hospital and the doctors told me. I had no risk factors for heart disease and I never thought it could happen to me," Bullis told Metro.
Bullis works with the WHI now in hopes of raising awareness and arming other women with the knowledge that could possibly save their lives one day.
"It’s near and dear to my heart. I just want other women to be aware of the risk factors and the fact that heart disease kills so many women."