The state of heart health in women


SUNBURY — As WKOK and the Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation ‘Rock Red for Healthy Hearts’, we are talking about how heart disease and heart attacks effect men, versus women.


Dr Petra Lynch, a cardiologist at the Heart and Vascular Center at Evangelical Community Hospital, told us that women have a different experience when it comes to heart attacks,”Chest pain is sometimes not what we think it is, especially in women. Women most of the time have atypical chest pain symptoms. Just this month I had several women coming to me with very atypical chest pain that was true again, true heart pain.”


Dr Lynch says that according to conventional knowledge, heart attacks and chest pain is described as pressure in the chest, or pain in the left arm. She says for women, it’s different, “Anything that comes with exertion, and is relieved by rest is very suspicious for heart disease. So if you think ‘I am short of breath walking into the grocery store and carrying two grocery bags back to my car and I get this aching shoulder pain and maybe some back pain,’ it could be your heart.”


Dr Lynch says the best thing to do in this case is to talk to your doctor and she says the stigma surrounding women and chest pain and how the “anxiety” label is a concern, “I think we have been labeling women with angina, with heart disease, for a long time, with anxiety. Every single woman that I see who has blockages in the heart arteries is afraid that she will get labeled as crazy, or having anxiety and being nervous and that’s absolutely not the case.”


You can hear the full conversation with Dr Lynch on our podcast page at

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