HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -The mission of 'Go red for women' month is to educate the nation about the number one killer. It's the focus of our Monthly Check Up with AlohaCare segment.
Judy Moore counts her blessings "I could have just keeled over" says the Straub patient.
Moore thought she had heartburn until she went for a walk on her 66th birthday.
She says "walking my dog made me realize I had chest pains, pressure in my chest."
Doctors found severe blockage in her heart.
"Right in the middle of the artery was a narrowing-- 85 to 90 percent" explains Straub Cardiologist, Dr. Lorelei Repique.
She decided that Moore needed a stent. The small spring props open an artery to improve blood flow to the heart.
"Basically I tell patients it's like plumbing" explains Dr. Repique. "You have problem with supply and you want to get more blood to your heart."
She went on to describe what causes heart disease. According to Repique, "when you have coronary artery disease, inside your artery, the cholesterol plaque starts to build up. Eventually the plaque builds up to where it interferes with blood supply to the heart."
Doctor Rio Banner, Medical Director for AlohaCare says there are five risk factors for heart disease: family history, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure and obesity.
"High blood pressure is very important" stresses Dr. Banner. "The right diet is important so we're not carrying to much weight. The workload of the heart every added ten, twenty, thirty pounds, that's increased burden for the heart."
As for Moore, she won't take her heart or symptoms for granted anymore.
She sums up the wakeup call this way: "you change your diet and you're much more aware of your lifestyle."
Heart Disease warning signs include shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue.
Some other things to consider. It's common to only notice the symptoms during exercise or physical exertion. That's when your heart is working hardest. Also, stress tests don't always detect heart problems.