February 21, 2020
Dr. Benziger discusses Heart Month on Fox 21

Dr. Benziger discusses Heart Month on Fox 21


– Welcome back. It’s estimated nearly
80% of cardiac events can be prevented, yet
cardiovascular disease continues to be a leading cause of
death for women in the US. Today, we raise awareness by wearing red and sharing vital information
by improving our heart health. This morning, Dr. Katie
Benziger is with us. Thank you for being here.
– Thank you for having me. – You are a cardiologist
over at Essentia Health, and you have some vital information for us this morning, right?
– Yeah, so today is Go Red Day for Women, to help raise awareness about women’s heart disease. 50% of Americans have high blood pressure, and many more have high
cholesterol and obesity and are at risk of having a heart attack. – Right, and next week,
we have the annual event to kind of raise awareness for this, correct?
– Yes, the Go Red for Women luncheon is on Wednesday,
and we have that at the DECC every year to help raise
money and raise awareness for heart disease. – Now, is this open to the public? Can we come and raise support? – Yes, it’s a fundraiser. You can go to the American Heart Association Northland website. You can, the event, I
think’s on Facebook as well, and we’re gonna have a
silent auction and lots of great information and
some patient survivors telling their story. – Awesome, so it was pretty interesting. You were just talking about,
Essentia did a recent study, and this isn’t just for
elderly women anymore, right? – Right, we found in our young
women who have a heart attack under the age of 50, 80% of
them are smokers, so really, we’re having a lot of young women having heart attacks still, and really, the biggest risk factor is
that they continue to smoke, so one of our biggest messages
is if you are a smoker, really try to, you know, cut
back or quit if you’re able to. – Yeah, definitely, and
some of the symptoms maybe for a heart attack, could you
list some of those out for us? – Yeah, you know, typically
men always describe kind of a, really, a heaviness and chest pressure, but women will often
describe extreme fatigue and just really being wiped
out doing everyday activities that they used to be able to do. They also report more
shortness of breath, nausea, sometimes reflux symptoms,
and they take some Tums, and it doesn’t go away. Those can all be signs of a heart attack. Another big thing too, jaw pain, that I noted on the website, right, jaw pain?
– Yeah, so a lot of times, the pain’ll start in the
chest and kind of move up into the jaw and sometimes
down in the arms as well. – [Host] Sure, so if we’re
experiencing symptoms, what should we do right away? – So, yeah, I think one of
the most important things, if you think you’re having
a heart attack or a stroke is to call 9-1-1. A lot of people think that they
should just drive themselves to the emergency room,
and by calling 9-1-1, you activate all of our
teams to get started and get brought in earlier and not waiting till you actually get to
the ER, and the ambulance can actually give you some
medications to help your pain and symptoms and sort of
get treatment started early, so I recommend calling 9-1-1. – [Host] Helps the hospital plan ahead too, right?
– That’s right. – [Host] And we also worry about stroke with this as well, correct? – [Katie] Yeah, there’s
a lot of the risk factors for heart disease are the same for stroke, and women also have
strokes similar to men. One of the big risk factors,
again, is high blood pressure, so making sure you get
your numbers checked. Know what your blood pressure is. Know your cholesterol. If you have diabetes, make
sure that’s under control. Symptoms of stroke are more
facial droop, numbness, one side that’s weaker than the other. Again, call 9-1-1 if you’re
having those symptoms. – Definitely, so maybe lots of young women watching this morning, what
age should we really start checking all these, these
different vitals, would you say? – That’s a, you know,
that’s a great question. I think, yeah, if you have
a strong family history of heart disease in your
family or high cholesterol, there’s really no age that’s
too young to start checking. We routinely recommend
checking kids age eight to 11 for high cholesterol. I noticed, you know, my
pediatrician starts checking my kid’s blood pressure. I mean, I think, you know,
in your 20s, for sure, you should know if you
have high cholesterol or what your blood pressure is, and just go to your primary
care doctor on a routine basis. It’s just good for your heart health. – Awesome, Dr. Katie, thank
you for your tips this morning. We appreciate it. – Thanks so much. – Yes, now, let’s go to
check on the forecast.

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