New Screening Helps Georgia Women Identify Heart Disease Before It’s Too Late


Heart disease poses a threat to all women. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death for women in the United States. That’s why Piedmont Heart Institute in Athens now offers a women’s heart screening program to help improve early detection and, in some cases, stop heart disease before it’s too late.“Heart disease is oftentimes thought of as a man’s disease, but that’s actually not the case at all,” said Catherine Marti, M.D., cardiologist and heart failure specialist at Piedmont Heart in Athens. “Almost as many women as men die of heart disease each year. Thankfully, this new screening can help prevent that, giving women in our community a better chance to start taking action against heart disease and the risk factors associated with it.”According to Dr. Marti, Piedmont Heart’s women’s heart screening is specifically designed for women because the signs of heart disease can be different for women and are often misunderstood.“The most common heart attack symptom in women is the same as in men and includes chest pain, pressure or discomfort that’s ongoing or comes and goes,” Dr. Marti said. “But chest pain is not always severe and may not even be that noticeable or bothersome for women. It’s even possible that some women may experience a heart attack without chest pain.”Also, heart disease includes more than just a heart attack and may remain unnoticed until you experience severe symptoms or even an emergency. “This screening could eliminate that problem for women,” Dr. Marti said.Piedmont Heart’s women’s heart screening is $99 regardless of insurance and is designed for all women. It does not require a referral from a physician. Even women who do not have a pre-existing heart issue are eligible for the screening, which includes a physical exam, lab work and complete health history. Participants also receive a comprehensive heart health report they can take home with detailed recommendations and next steps.“That’s a small price to pay for big peace of mind,” Dr. Marti said. “Getting screened for heart disease, even prevalence or risk for heart disease, can have a tremendous impact on a woman’s health and may act as a catalyst for them to adopt healthier lifestyle practices and ward off heart disease before it is diagnosed.”Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease. Risk factors include high cholesterol and blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, weigh and physical inactivity.“Women tend to delay seeking care. They are often too busy acting as caretakers for others,” Dr. Marti said. “Women must begin to take care of themselves as well as they take care of others. That includes making time for exercise, getting regular medical checkups and eating right.”To learn more or to sign up to take the women’s heart screening at Piedmont Heart Institute in Athens, visit piedmont.org/womensheartvirus please contact postmaster@piedmont.org.

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