Heart Health: The warning signs of a heart attack with Dr. Brent Videau

Heart Health: The warning signs of a heart attack.
with Brent Videau, M.D., FACC, FASE, FASH, cardiologist, Baptist Medical Group

Do you take care of your heart? February is American Heart Month, and it’s a good time to learn more about the warning signs your body will send if you’re at risk of a heart attack. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. Dr. Brent Videau with Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute explains the causes of heart disease and symptoms you should not ignore.

Q: What causes heart disease in women? Do women of all ethnicities share the same risk?

A: The causes of heart disease are the same in men and women – smoking, high amounts of certain fats and cholesterol in the diet, high blood pressure, high amounts of sugar in the blood, inflammation, sleep disturbance and stress.
African American and Latin American women are 35 percent more likely to die of heart disease than white women. Pacific and Pacific Island women are considered to be at low risk for heart disease, but they still count heart disease as their second leading cause of death.
Studies show that 68 percent of white women know that heart disease is the leading killer of women, while only 31 percent of black women and 29 percent of Hispanics recognize this.
Q: While there are many similarities in the symptoms of heart disease in men and women, there are even more differences. What are some of those differences?

A: Women can present symptoms in a different way than men. Their presentation can be called atypical because it is different from typical crushing chest pain. Women may only have symptoms like shortness of breath or increasing fatigue. Sometimes women do not have chest pain, but they can experience jaw, elbow or abdominal pain.

Q: What are some symptoms or warning signs of heart disease?

A: Dyspnea, or shortness of breath, arm/elbow pain with exertion, jaw pain, sweating, chest pain radiating to neck and arm, and unusual fatigue.
Q: Where can someone go for help if they are at a high risk for heart disease or if they are experiencing symptoms?

A: A patient should see their primary care provider who can then refer the patient to one of the cardiologists at the Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute. However, if the patient is having warning signs or accelerated symptoms, increasing in frequency or more intense, then the patient should go to the emergency room at Baptist Hospital or Gulf Breeze Hospital to be seen immediately.
Q: How many physicians make up the Baptist Heart & Vascular team and what specialties do they have?

A: Our program is one of the largest in Northwest Florida and South Alabama, providing patients with everything they need in quality cardiovascular care. We have the largest and most experienced physician team in the region. Our program has over 35 providers with specialties in structural heart disease, vascular disease, electrophysiology, diagnostics and many more. Collectively the group has introduced almost every new innovation in heart care to our area.

To learn more, visit BaptistMedicalGroup.org or to schedule an appointment, call 850.484.6500. To view Dr. Videau’s profile, visit baptistmedicalgroup.org/doctors/brent-d-videau-md-facc-fase-fash.