Inaugural walk seeks to bridge gap between women, heart disease

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Meggan Gray – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Singing River Health System teamed up with The American Heart Association to host the first "Bridging the Gap between Women and Heart Disease" walk Wednesday morning.

Before making the three mile trek across the Biloxi - Ocean Springs Bridge and back, women were treated to a series of screenings to test their blood pressure, flexibility and balance - all of which are important aspects of an active lifestyle.

"Unfortunately people who are not exercising or have a problem such as high blood pressure or diabetes, makes them at risk for having heart disease," explains Dr. Richard Eubanks, a cardiac thoracic surgeon with Singing River Health System. He says one in every two women in the U.S. will die from heart disease.

"Heart disease is the number one cause of death in women in the United States. And it's so important when we think about the mothers and grandmothers, and all of the wives, and all the hard work they do dedicating themselves to their families, and oftentimes they don't take care of themselves."

Dr. Eubanks says the key to prevention, is exercise.

"An ounce of prevention is way better than a pound of cure. It's very important to exercise. You know three times a week, getting your heart rate up 30 minutes at a time, is essential at living a healthy lifestyle."

If you are at risk, it's important to know the symptoms of a heart attack.  But Dr. Eubanks says women may have a harder time detecting the symptoms, because they don't include the typical chest pain.

"Oftentimes, women don't have that type of symptom. It may be more subtle than that. It may be just an uneasy feeling, it may be stomach pain. Or it may be left shoulder pain or neck pain. Or you feel uneasy or flu like symptoms. That can actually be an early warning sign that your heart could be in trouble and that you should seek professional help."

If you'd like to learn more about ways to get healthy to prevent heart disease, click here.

The American Heart Association will host its annual Start! Heart Walk Saturday, October 2nd. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the old Gulfport VA. The walk begins at 8:30 a.m.

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