Women & Heart Disease - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Women & Heart Disease

WASHINGTON - According to the American Heart Association heart disease kills about 325,000 Americans every year and is the number one killer among women.

February is heart disease awareness month.

Susan Senner had a heart attack when she was 47.  She said "I woke up to tenseness all through my body, through my feet into my chest to my arms.  I didn't think it was a heart attack initially."

Kadlec Medical Center officials said many people do not realize they are having a heart attack.

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Manager Betty Johnson said, "When you look at Sue she appears to be in good health.  We can't always judge a book by its cover."

Senner had surgery to open up her blocked artery and would go to come to Kadlec Medical Center for treatment.

Senner said, "I never thought I would experience something like this at such a young age."

She said, "The most difficult thing is that exercise is not a choice anymore it's a requirement and after full day of work and a full house to run you still have to squeeze in the exercise."

Senner also changed her diet and has to take lots of medication. 

Johnson said, "All women need to be concerned and decrease their chance of heart disease."

Senner was able to take aspirin and get to the hospital in 30 minutes, which was very important for treatment and recovery.

Kadlec Medical Center officials said they are the only place to receive open-heart surgery in the area.