College Station Woman Raising Awareness About Number 1 Killer of Women

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BRYAN, Texas Listen up, it could save your life.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States.

News 3 sat down with a College Station woman who is sharing the steps she took that prevented her from having a heart attack.

Connie Wood is happy to be here five years after her heart started giving her troubles.

The College Station wife, mother, and former elementary school assistant principal says her heart problems began with subtle signs of aches, pain, and even vomiting.

"I think women are so used to pain we give birth, we're use to avoiding or pressing through or working through our circumstance. And so women have a tendency to ignore the symptoms," she said.

But several trips to the hospital didn't show anything wrong on her EKGs and her cholesterol was fine. So she saw her doctor.

"He said, 'Connie well the only way for us to really know for sure is to do an angiogram,' so that's what we did. When we did the angiogram he found that I had three arteries blocked; two 90 percent and one 70 percent. He was able to put stents in the two," said Wood.

Vicky Keys is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. She says the symptoms of heart problems are different for women because different parts of their heart are usually affected compared to men.

"So generally men will have that crushing chest, elephant sitting on my chest type of symptomology. Women will more likely have fatigue, anxiety, extreme fatigue," said Vicky Keys.

"I want to be around for the key people in my life that I can influence, meaning my grandchildren and my children. Then you need to exercise, you need to eat healthy and you need to be aware of the signs and follow the signs," said Connie Wood.

Advice to prevent this silent killer from striking those you love.

Some of the risk factors for heart disease in women include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and lack of exercise.