To coincide with this year’s Women’s Health Week, GenesisCare, the largest provider of cardiology services in Western Australia, is urging women aged 45 and over to recognise and act on the warning signs of heart disease.
In Western Australia, coronary heart disease is a major health burden, estimated to account for 7.2% of all disease burden in the state.1
Nationally, over half a million Australian women suffer from coronary heart disease and it is the leading cause of death among Australian women.2
GenesisCare Cardiologist and Head of Department at St John of God Hospital Bunbury, Dr Allison Morton, said: “The good news is that coronary heart disease is largely preventable and with early diagnosis and treatment we can mitigate the associated risks of heart disease, namely heart attack and heart failure.”
“It is absolutely imperative for women to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of heart conditions and consult their doctor if they are concerned to ensure the appropriate diagnostic tests are performed,” said Dr Morton.
Symptoms of heart disease vary, but often include chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath, pain and numbness in the arms, nausea and indigestion.
For women, risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, mental stress and depression, menopause, smoking, inactivity and obesity.
“There are a number of tests which we use to determine a patient’s risk of heart disease, including echocardiography, stress echocardiography, exercise stress testing and 24-hour holter monitoring,” said Dr Morton.
“We see a number of women that come into the hospital with cardiac symptoms who undergo diagnostic testing that end up requiring a cardiac procedure, such as a stent or a pacemaker.”
Women experiencing any warning signs of heart disease are advised to contact their GP for a referral, or for medical emergencies call 000.
For more information visit www.genesiscare.com/au/treatment/cardiology/