AP NEWS

La Porte Hospital offers free program about women and heart disease

February 8, 2019

La PORTE — La Porte Hospital wants women to know their symptoms of heart disease can be very different than those experienced by men.

While we’ve all become familiar with the “Hollywood heart attack” (man suddenly clutches chest and immediately falls unconscious), only a portion of victims will experience a heart attack in this way – and women’s symptoms are often significantly different.

According to the American Heart Association, more women die from heart disease each year than men. Furthermore, women can often reverse existing heart disease and certainly prevent heart disease through good nutrition.

The “Women Heart” group at La Porte Hospital is hosting Dr. Maya Kommineni on Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room on the first floor of La Porte Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Center located at 901 Lincoln Way, La Porte.

The community is invited to attend.

A female cardiologist with Porter Physician Group in Valparaiso, Kommineni is known for her expertise surrounding heart care for women, her passion for preventing and reversing heart disease, and an approachable communication style.

Registration is not required for this free event.

According to Kommineni, Medical Director of Northwest Indiana’s first and only Heart Center for Women, while the most common symptom for any heart attack victim is chest pain and discomfort, women often experience unusual fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness, gastrointestinal issues, anxiety, palpitations and sweating more than their male counterparts.

“Women are more likely to be misdiagnosed with cardiac disease and when truly having a heart attack, are less likely than male patients to be offered lifesaving therapeutic interventions,” said Kommineni. “This leads to higher in-hospital mortality rates and helps to explain why cardiovascular disease continues to be the number one killer of women.”

When it comes to prevention and even reversal of heart disease, Kommineni will explain the research-backed benefits women can gain from healthy changes including weight reduction, preventing or controlling diabetes, goal directed treatment of hypertension and moving towards a whole foods, plant based diet.

“Atherosclerosis, cholesterol deposits in the arteries, is associated with high dietary intake of meat, fat and carbohydrates and remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S.,” Kommineni said. “Our community needs to pay close attention to the research showing that a plant based diet is recognized as a healthier alternative to a diet laden with animal products, including all forms of animal proteins and dairy. The goal is to prevent cardiovascular disease and/or reverse the disease process to maximize quality of life and health.”

Awareness campaigns over the past decade have helped improve survival rates for women having heart attacks but much work remains. Cardiac-related conditions are responsible for 1 in 4 female deaths, and are more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.

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