She acted on the signs, and it may have saved her life

Even those who did not grow up watching soap operas, the name Susan Lucci probably sounds familiar. The beloved soap opera star, age 72, has also appeared in television commercials and other shows, including Dancing with the Stars, through the years. Recently, the actress revealed that she had undergone emergency heart surgery late in 2017 after an unexpected health scare.

In October of last year, Lucci had begun to feel an uncomfortable sensation in her chest; nothing alarmingly painful or dramatic, just a bit of pressure. Because she had never been hospitalized or sick, for the most part, throughout adulthood, she thought very little of her symptoms, thinking they would pass. Fortunately, the third time her symptoms came knocking, she listened.

What caught the actress’s attention was a recollection of an interview she had seen years before. The sensation that she was feeling that day, one of an elephant pressing on her chest, was the same described in that interview of a woman describing her symptoms before a heart attack. Listening to her intuition, Lucci immediately went to the hospital. There, she learned that one of the arteries to her heart was 90 percent blocked. Another was 75 percent blocked. Surgical intervention with stents opened the blocked arteries and Lucci is back to her normal self, albeit with a little more awareness.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. This disease has a higher mortality rate than all forms of cancer combined. Interestingly, it isn’t that women are more prone to heart disease than men. As women age, the risk among genders is nearly equal. It is the effects of heart disease that differ between men and women based on heart size and the pathology of the condition itself.

Cardiology experts recommend that women obtain screenings for heart disease with their primary care physician and also schedule a thorough examination if they experience symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and chest pain, as these are all indicators of a potential cardiac event.

Susan Lucci listened to the messages her body was sending. As a result, her life may have been saved. She most certainly avoided a heart attack by receive care to unblock obstructed arteries. Now she has a message for others: “listen to your symptoms and act on them.”

So you have questions about the signs of heart disease or cardiac events? Contact Premier Cardiology Consultants at 516-437-5600.

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