Heartbeat : American Heart Month

LUBBOCK, TX - Many people are already thinking about hearts with Valentine's Day on February 14. February is also a month to think about your heart health, as it's American Heart Month.

Covenant Interventional Cardiologist, Dr. Kyler Barkley, spoke about the importance of heart health in women.

"As far as women's overall health, I don't know if everyone knows this, but cardiovascular disease is by far the number one killer in women," he said.

He said one thing to know is your family history of heart disease.

"If you have a strong family history of a lot of people having heart attacks in your family, unfortunately, that comes down to genetics, and you can't do anything about genetics," Dr. Barkley said.  "If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, you need to be very aggressive about getting those other things under control."

Along with that, he also said to know things like your blood pressure and your cholesterol.

"So the main numbers that I think are important, one is going to be your blood pressure, make sure you know what those are, because people can have silent hypertension, and they don't even know about it," he said.

When it comes to signs and symptoms, Dr. Barkley said that men and women can show different symptoms of a heart problem.

"Traditionally, women will also present with chest pain, but sometimes they may just also feel extremely fatigued, they can't do things this week that they could easily do two weeks ago, those are things that can sometimes be due to heart disease," Dr. Barkley said. "If they have a lot of jaw pain, or neck pain or shoulder pain, whenever they're doing things, those are things that can present, more commonly in women than with men."

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