Hendricks County Senior Services once again hosted its annual Wear Red Luncheon to bring attention to women’s heart health while raising funds for the organization.
This year the main speakers were cardiologist Dr. Mark Fisch and Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson.
Fisch practices cardiology and interventional cardiology at IU Health North Hospital in Carmel.
“The statistics show that we are getting better at treating heart disease, but we still need to do more with awareness,” Fisch said. “You can tell by these old ads that women’s heart health was not a priority in the 1960s.”
He shared a few antique advertisements including one with a slogan of “How can I help my husband deal with heart disease.”
The fact is that heart disease is the number one killer of women — more than all cancers combined.
“One thing we do know is that women take longer to get treatment,” Fisch said. “Women tend to minimize symptoms.”
He said women often don’t have the “regular” symptoms that most men do, such as arm pain and profusive sweating.
“Symptoms can include pain in the left shoulder, neck pain, or even jaw pain,” he said. “And we, as physicians, need to do a better job of diagnosing and treating heart disease.”
He encouraged all the women in the audience to do things that make them less susceptible to heart disease such as not smoking, learning family history, limiting alcohol intake, and getting moderate exercise.
“Getting 30 minutes of exercise about five times a week is a good idea,” he said. “Taking a brisk walk, riding a bike, or swimming are all good ways to get exercise. It’s always a good idea to maintain a good body weight.
“Have your cholesterol checked and discuss it with your doctor. And my opinion on blood pressure is to keep it below 140/90. You will be surprised at how much reducing your sodium will lower your blood pressure.”