FOX Files: Heart Disease Number One Killer Of Women

FOX Files
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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– What’s the number one killer of women? If you answered breast cancer, you’re wrong. It is heart disease. The American Heart Association numbers show 43 million American women are affected by heart disease.. and that a staggering one in three dies from heart disease each year.

For a long time, it was considered a men’s health issue. But doctors now say more women die from heart disease than men. On average, women develop heart disease about ten years later than men. Estrogen provides some protection in their younger years although smoking or diabetes can lessen that protection.

Eileen Hagan was an active 52-year-old woman when she suffered a heart attack. She says she was eating lunch and felt like she had taken too big a bite and it got stuck in her esophagus. Not really pain, she says, just a tightness. She didn’t really think about a heart attack. Two nurses she worked with took her to the emergency room. Tests showed she had suffered a mild heart attack. Eileen says her advice to other women is to get it checked out when you feel something just isn’t quite right. She says she didn’t experience the common symptoms of heart attack.

You’ve probably heard of the most common heart attack symptoms.. the crushing chest pain or intense pressure or tightness in the chest that doesn’t go away. Women sometimes have symptoms that are less common such as extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, indigestion with exercise, dizziness or lightheadedness, tightness or ache in the neck, shoulder or upper back.

Dr. Andrew Kates, a Washington University cardiologist says people often have warning signs that they’re headed for a heart attack down the road. They’re sometimes similar to heart attack symptoms, but they may last a minute or two and go away. Those warning signs may also include fatigue, shortness of breath, indigestion with exercise and angina or chest pain or pressure.

But Dr. Kates also points out that half the people who die from heart attack, die suddenly.. and half of those people didn’t have any warning signs. So that’s why it’s important to also be aware of some health issues or other things that may put you at risk of developing heart disease that could lead to a heart attack.

You can’t control family history, but you can be aware that it increases your chances of developing heart disease. However, there are many treatable factors that you can do something about.. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet and emotional distress.

And don’t delay seeking help. If you think you’re having a heart attack, call 9-11. Don’t drive yourself to the ER.  Dr. Kates says people usually get seen quicker in the ER when they come in by ambulance. On the way, the paramedics can evaluate your situation, start necessary meds and alert the ER you’re on your way.

About the FOX Files

The Fox Files are groundbreaking investigations you won’t see anywhere else. The series is well known for breaking the Pam Hupp story nationally. The reports that led to the exoneration of Russ Faria. But, it is far from the only time in which our investigations led to overturned convictions and freedom for the wrongfully accused. The Fox Files investigations do not fit into just one category, other than the fact our reports shine a light on issues and corruption in ways you won’t see anywhere else.

You won’t know what to expect as our reports often take twists that surprise even Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes.

“You never know where the truth will lead and you have to keep searching for it, even when you think you might be done,” Hayes said.

From getting arrested for trying to cover a public meeting, to getting law enforcement involved in his report about a daycare fight club, the Fox Files has been at the forefront of breaking news investigations in the St. Louis area.

It doesn’t stop just in St. Louis. The Pam Hupp/Russ Faria story took him to Lincoln County. Fox 2 was the first to report, nationally, on the synthetic drug epidemic when it began in St. Charles County, MO. In St. Louis County, our Fox Files reporting led to the dismantling of some police departments, including the departments of Uplands Park and Jennings. And in the City of St. Louis, our investigations led to swift government actions, such as our report that led to the Governor’s ordered shut down of a daycare.

Our reporting in St. Louis also led to former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ exclusive Fox Files interviews involving his court fight to oust the chief prosecutor while attempting to prove that political corruption led to an illegal overturning of a state election.

“It’s not always bad news,” Hayes said about a recent victory for a restaurant in his coverage of a St. Clair County Illinois issue. A Fox Files report, exposing a health department’s mistake over the COVID-19 pandemic, led to an overturning of a decision, allowing the business to open for limited inside dining.

Another investigation took us to Madison County, where prosecutors praised Fox 2’s coverage while shutting down an illegal synthetic drug business – and to Monroe County, where we uncovered key evidence in the Chris Coleman murder trial.

Even the national media, continues reaching out to local affiliate Fox 2 KTVI and the Fox Files, for its work on cases that are important to St. Louis. When you see a network television’s coverage of St. Louis, you’ll often see that they gathered information that was first uncovered right here.


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