Women Are at Risk of Heart Attacks Too—Cardiac Arrest Survivor Shares Her Story with Heart Insight

Women Urged to Take Control of Their Heart Risk, as AHA 'Goes Red' for Women

Released: 1/24/2014 3:25 PM EST
Source Newsroom: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
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Citations Heart Insight

Newswise — Philadelphia, Pa. (January 24, 2014) - Like many active women, Ellen Abramson never gave much thought to her risk of heart disease—until the day she suddenly found herself having a heart attack. Ellen shares her experience as survivor of cardiac arrest in the February issue of Heart Insight, a quarterly magazine for patients, their families and caregivers. Heart Insight is published by the American Heart Association (AHA) and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Ellen talks to Heart Insight's Linda Childers about her heart attack and how it inspired a new life mission: educating other women about understanding and taking control of their heart disease risk. You can read Ellen's story—and learn about simple but effective lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease and stroke—using the new Heart Insight iPad® app, available as a free download from the iTunes app store.

Heart Attack Survivor Urges Women to Learn Their Heart Disease Risk
Ellen was a busy professional, wife, and mother in her early fifties when she started experiencing symptoms such as heartburn and fatigue. A doctor at a walk-in clinic gave her antacids, but she continued to feel bad and had trouble doing her usual exercise routine. Then suddenly one day she had chest pain and profuse sweating, and realized she might be having a heart attack.

In the emergency room, the doctor told Ellen she was having a heart attack at that very moment. Soon afterward, her heart stopped beating (cardiac arrest) and the medical team had to resuscitate her. She was rushed to the cardiac catheterization lab, where doctors performed an angioplasty and placed a stent: a drug-coated device to open her blocked coronary arteries.

As she began her rehab and recovery, Ellen committed herself to educating other women about heart disease. "I realized I had the gift of speaking and I wanted women to know that if I could have a heart attack, they could too," says Ellen.

Even though she had a family history—her father and grandfather both developed heart disease at young ages—Ellen never dreamed that she might be affected. Like many women, Ellen got regular mammograms to screen for breast cancer. But she didn't know her risk factors for heart disease, such as cholesterol and blood pressure.

In the five years since her heart attack, Ellen has made healthy lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, as well as regular doctor visits. To help other women understand and control their risk of heart disease, Ellen has written a book, titled Live to Dance—reflecting her gratitude for surviving to dance at her daughter’s wedding. She says, "The greatest gift you can give to yourself and your family is the gift of good health."

Ellen's story was specially selected to appear in advance of National Wear Red Day®, held on Monday, February 7, in support of AHA's "Go Red for Women" initiative. This year marks the 10th birthday of National Wear Red Day, a special day to bring attention to heart disease as the number one cause of death in women. February also marks American Heart Month, a nationwide initiative to raise awareness in the effort to combat heart disease and educate communities on prevention and treatment options.

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About Heart Insight
An official publication of the American Heart Association (AHA), Heart Insight is the first AHA consumer magazine―for patients, families, and their caregivers―that focuses exclusively on managing and preventing cardiovascular disease and related conditions. Heart Insight offers hope, inspiration, and encouragement by featuring articles about, and by, people who have first-hand experience dealing with cardiovascular conditions, either as patients or as caregivers themselves. Heart Insight is lively and upbeat, providing readers with the most up-to-date, authoritative and practical advice on a wide range of heart-related conditions on a quarterly basis. Heart Insight is available at cardiology offices and in other healthcare settings, as well as free online at www.HeartInsight.com.

About Wolters Kluwer Health
Wolters Kluwer Health is a leading global provider of information, business intelligence and point-of-care solutions for the healthcare industry. Serving more than 150 countries and territories worldwide, Wolters Kluwer Health’s customers include professionals, institutions and students in medicine, nursing, allied health and pharmacy. Major brands include Health Language®, Lexicomp®, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Medicom®, Medknow, Ovid®, Pharmacy OneSource®, ProVation® Medical and UpToDate®.

Wolters Kluwer Health is part of Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company. Wolters Kluwer had 2012 annual revenues of €3.6 billion ($4.6 billion), employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide, and maintains operations in over 40 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Follow our official Twitter handle: @WKHealth.


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