SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) – One woman dies every minute in the U.S. from heart disease. It's a condition that can strike at any time and sometimes without warning. But it can easily be avoided. It's called the silent killer, and 90 percent of women live with one or more risk factors for developing the disease.
Often times this condition goes undetected until it is too late.
"One of the things that I seem to hear a lot with women is shortness of breath. I can't do as much as I used to be able to do," said Dr. April Palmer, a general physician at Christus Schumpert in Shreveport.
Palmer spent the past six years practicing medicine and walks KSLA News 12 through the steps to detect for the disease.
First she would start with a look at blood pressure. Then she would take a quick look at the pulse and heart beat. If a patient complained about certain pains in their chest, Dr. Palmer said she would order a test for a closer look.
"An EKG is a tool that lets us look at the electrical currents in the heart."
The final step would be to check for cholesterol and glucose levels. Those are determined through blood samples. A general physician would thoroughly review the results from the tests, then would decide if a referral to a cardiovascular doctor was necessary.
"We want to catch the signs and symptoms early."
Here are recommended links to know the numbers and facts about heart disease and what to look for:
American Heart Association - www.americanheart.org
Go Red For Women - www.goredforwomen.org