Women -- who are at higher risk than men for certain dangerous arrhythmias, and subsequent stroke in some cases -- are often told that their palpitations are "just due to anxiety." But even though they can be triggered by anxiety, it is important for doctors to rule out any dangerous arrhythmias before dismissing the palpitations as only the result of worrying.
Every year, I get chills when I stand on the stage at Jazz at Lincoln Center and look out over the sea of red dresses. Everyone is there for the same reason: to celebrate and honor those who have worked tirelessly to improve the heart health of America and fight heart disease, the #1 killer of women.
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in this country, and that it's more deadly than all forms of cancer combined? According to the American Heart Association, 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease, and it is the cause of one in three women's deaths every year.
Last month, my dear friend Rosie O'Donnell had a terrifying experience. She had been helping a large woman who was struggling to get out of her car in Nyack, NY; and when she got home, she began to feel an ache in her chest, and both of her arms were sore. Then she became nauseous and clammy, and threw up.