WVUH Helps Raise Awareness For Heart Disease in Women - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

WVUH Helps Raise Awareness For Heart Disease in Women

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MORGANTOWN -

In October we think pink.

From the NFL, to local bakes sales, breast cancer awareness is well known, but it's not women's biggest medical threat.

National Wear Red for Women was observed Friday raising awareness to the dangers of heart disease.

Coronary disease kills one in three women, it's the number one killer in America, and Heidi Metheny was almost one of them.

"As moms and women, we put everyone before ourselves," said Metheny. "Our kid's cough and we take them to the doctor that day, and we don't recognize what's going on in our own bodies."

Metheny was just like that.

A wife and new mother to her third baby boy, she thought being tired was just a part of life.

She had no idea the recent birth of her child caused a dissection in her aortic valve that was threatening her life.

"I could have died," Metheny said, "I was very lucky. Most people have the dissection and collapse on the spot, but I was able to walk around for two years, god willing, and be treated."

Metheny was lucky, but not every woman is.

Dr. Bradford Warden of the WVU Heart Institute said helping women survive heart disease starts with educating them.

"The first step is identifying the problem," said Dr. Warden. "Then the second part is education. The third part is taking that education out from here, out into their families, to their social circles ect., getting the word out that coronary disease is an important concern for women's health too."

Dr. Warden added that women don't need to wait for a doctor to take precautions.

"There is certain parts of risk factor modification that should happen early in life," he said. "Diet, exercise, those are the things you're looking at early in life to sort of curb a lot of the risk factors later."

Dr. Warden and Metheny both spoke Friday to a group of 100 women gathered to recognize National Go Red For Women Day.

Metheny told her story and hopes, if nothing else, that women understand there is always time to care of their bodies.

"Take action. Listen to what's going on," she said. "Listen to what your body is telling you and do it today, don't wait. If I had waited, I probably wouldn't be here. "

The American Heart Association Go Red For Women Campaign has plenty of health tips and advice for women on its web site.