February is American Heart Month and we all need to sit up and take notice, especially women. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Smokers, diabetics, and the obese are at higher risk.
If you are having heart related symptoms and visit your doctor, any number of tests could be ordered. The five most common ones are an EKG, carotid ultrasound, echocardiogram, stress test, or a cardiac CT scan. However, if you are asymptomatic no tests are necessary. "If you do a test like a stress test on someone who doesn't have any symptoms, then you are more likely to get a false-positive test than a true positive," said Dr. Malissa Wood, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association.
No test can prevent heart disease. Make sure you get daily exercise, eat plenty of fruits and veggies and don't smoke. Know your blood pressure and cholesterol readings and keep them under control.
If you suffer a broken heart there's no need to consult a Cardiologist. It will heal with time, caring friends, and the courage to love again.