"Leslie Billow/Heart Attack Patient: Not me it could be anybody but me, so I couldn't believe that. So it was a total shock."
Take a look at her today, and you wouldn't pick Leslie as a heart patient. But two years ago when she had her heart attack she looked the same way. And that may be one reason why women and sometimes their own doctors don't think of heart disease....because the woman might not look sick. Leslie says that's despite the fact she had some major risk factors going for her.
Leslie Billow: "I had high blood pressure, and my cholestrol has always been borderline my father had high cholesterol counts as did my mother so there was a strong family history"
Even Leslie's heart attack itself had no classic symptoms...no chest pain, no sweats. Which is what doctors are discovering when they treat female heart patients.
Dr, Michael Block is with the University of Nevada School of Medicine and specializes in vascular disease. " They may have more nausea or indigestion they may describe the pain as dull and some of it may be how we as physicians ask the questions to women as to how we ask the questions of men."
While heart disease symptoms and descriptions may be different when comparing men and women. Dr.Bloch says the treatment is the same. For Leslie it has meant exercising five to six times a week, eating right, and taking medication. Two years after her heart attack doctors say her heart is back to its pre-attack status.
"Miracles happen and that is the bottom line for me."