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Heart disease affects both men and women

Heart disease affects both men and women

YAKIMA, Wash.- If you've ever had chest pain or shortness of breath, it may be more serious than you think it is.

"Six months ago I started to have some chest pains," said Amae Merrill, a heart disease survivor.

34-year-old Amae Merrill is a mother of twins, a fourth grade teacher and a heart disease survivor. She says listening to her body and seeking treatment right away from medical experts at Astria Heart Institute is what saved her life.

"The chest pains just went away, it felt good to be able to do my normal activities again," said Merrill.

But when it comes to heart disease, Merrill isn't alone.

"One and three women die every year from heart disease or stroke," said Rich Robinson, CEO at Astria Medical Center.

It's also the leading cause of death for men, but women tend to be undertreated because this condition is seen as a men's disease.

"We don't always realize that, but it's important to know that it is for women and it's to the same extent as in men. Because heart disease is sort of thought of as a men's disease, but in fact that's not true," said Dr. James Kneller, Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist, Astria Heart Institute.

Dr. Kneller says eating unhealthy foods, not exercising, and high cholesterol are huge contributing factors for developing heart disease. It's also a commonly known disease for older people, but that isn't always the case. He recommends that if you notice any abnormal symptoms, act on it and see a doctor.

"When you something you feel is truly present, and it is recurrent, that's worth investigation," said Dr. Kneller.

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