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Ascension St. Vincent hosting a ‘heart to heart’ on heart health

St. Vincent hosting free ‘Heart to Heart’ discussion

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An upcoming event with Ascension St. Vincent Hospital is aiming to answer important questions about women’s heart health.

Dr. Lindsay Panah, a cardiologist specializing in maternal health, joined News 8 to stress this importance and the growing concern for heart health in Indiana.

“Indiana has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country, and the nation as a whole hasn’t done well when it comes to maternal mortality,” she said. “Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of heart disease or heart complications during pregnancy. It’s important for patients to know that heart disease can happen during pregnancy and they should be aware of the signs.”

A few of the signs of Panah refers to are shortness of breath during pregnancy, swelling in the legs, and chest pain. Prior to the pregnancy, Panah says that anyone with a history of heart problems should see a cardiologist and an internal fetal medicine doctor to “make sure we’re on the same page entering a pregnancy.”

Panah also provides ways to discern between the warning signs and the normal inconveniences of being pregnant.

“A lot of the end stage of pregnancy symptoms can mimic cardiac symptoms. I think that’s when it’s important to alert your provider. If you’re feeling abnormal, listen to your body and make sure you’re alerting your providers so they can do the appropriate testing,” she said.

Panah talks more about St. Vincent’s “Heart to Heart” discussion on Nov. 10, and what the event has to offer to educate people on maternal heart health.

Watch the full interview above to learn more.