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Focus On Women’s Heart Health

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Video published February 4, 2011 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: We'll find out the risk factors for heart disease and why is it easier for some doctors to identify symptoms in men than women.

The American Heart Association encouraged women to wear red today to raise awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of American women over age 20. Cardiovascular disease kills more women than all cancers combined. Dr. Ricki Green is a cardiologist at UC San Diego Medical Center, she discusses risk factors for heart disease.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION ENCOURAGED WOMEN TO WEAR RED TODAY TO RAISE AWARENESS THAT HEART DISEASE AND A NO. 1 KILLER OF AMERICAN WOMEN OVER AGE 20. DOCTOR RICKY GREEN IS A CARDIOLOGIST. AND TALKING ABOUT RISK FACTORS.

THE RISK FACTORS ARE SIMILAR THAT BOTH MEN AND WOMEN SHOULD WATCH THEIR DIET AND EXERCISE, WHAT IS MORE DIFFICULT IS THEY MAY NOT PRESENT WITH THE SAME SYMPTOMS, BUT THE RISK PROFILES ARE SIMILAR.

OKAY, WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?

TO GO BACK FOR A SECOND, THE RISK FACTORS ARE FAMILIAR BECAUSE THAT MEANS THAT WE WOMEN SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR THE SAME THINGS. SO WE NEED TO GO TO OUR DOCTOR AND SAY YOU KNOW I KIND OF WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT MY CHOLESTEROL IS, PLEASE CHECK IT AND I HAVE TO SAY THAT THERE ARE PLENTY OF PHYSICIANS THAT NEED TO BE PROMPTED TO HAVER THIS FEMALE PATIENTS HAVE A CHOLESTEROL CHECK, IT'S MORE AUTOMATIC FOR MALE PATIENTS.

AND IT'S STILL THAT WAY?

NO IT'S VERY MUCH STILL THAT WAY. THERE HAVE BEEN PLENTY OF PHYSICIANS THAT HAVE BEEN ASKED ABOUT THIS AND YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED AT THE NUMBER OF PHYSICIANS THAT DO NOT PERCEIVE HEART DISEASE AS WOMEN'S PROBLEM.

IS IT GENERATIONAL?

SOMEWHAT.

DO SYMPTOMS OF HEART DISEASE DIFFER BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN?

SYMPTOMS, THEY CAN DIFFER. TAKE SYMPTOMS OF A HEART ATTACK. TRADITIONALLY WE DESCRIBE IT AS AN ELEPHANT ON MY CHEST AND MAN MAY COME IN AND GO THE CLASSIC SIGN AND HOLD HIS HAND OVER HIS CHEST AND WILL BE IMMEDIATELY PUT ON THE BED AND GET HIS EKG DONE AND KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON AND A WOMAN MAY COME IN AND SAY A LITTLE CHEST DISCOMFORT AND I'M SHORT OF BREATH AND SICK TO MY STOMACH AND DESCRIBE MORE VAGUE SYMPTOMS THAT IT DOES NOT TRIGGER A WORK UP.

WHY IS IT EASIER FOR DOCTORS TO IDENTIFY SYMPTOMS IN MEN. IF YOU ARE HAVING BREATHING PROBLEMS ISN'T THAT A SIGNAL RIGHT NOW.

THE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS ARE THE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS. WE GO BY THAT AND WE GO BY THIS IS WHAT IS TEXTBOOK DESCRIBES, THAT DESCRIBES THE SYMPTOMS OF WHAT MOST MEN COMPLAIN OF.

I WANT TO TAKE A LOOK AT THIS. EXPLAIN WHY THIS IS SIGNIFICANT.

IT WAS DONE AT UC, --

IT WAS AT UC?

YES. UC AND NOT SCRIPPS. SINCE I'M A UC DOCTOR I HAVE TO SAY THAT.

I'M GLAD YOU DID.

IT WAS DONE IN THE CONTEXT THAT I'M HOSTING WITH OTHERS FOR A NATIONAL GROUP OF WOMEN DOCTORS THAT ARE SPECIALIZING IN HEART RHYTHM PROBLEMS AND IT WAS SUCH A NICE COINCIDENCE THAT WE HAPPENED TO HAVE A GROUP OF WOMEN DOCTORS ON CAMPUS ON THE DAY WHERE I THINK WE REALLY NEED MORE WOMEN DOCTORS.

WELL I THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SPEAKING TO YOU AGAIN DOCTOR.

THANK YOU.

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