Holidays pose high risk for women and heart problems

Posted: Updated:
Women face heart high heart disease risks during the holidays By Tami Hoey Women face heart high heart disease risks during the holidays By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX – This time of year, it’s hard to find anyone who isn’t busy and stressed.

But the holidays pose a special threat for women.  In fact, Christmas and New Years are two of the   times women are most likely to die from heart disease.

Dr. Angela DeRosa told 3TV's Kaley O'Kelley that stress is just extremely high right now.

“We don’t take care of ourselves. We’re eating too much, drinking too much, all of our favorite things,” says DeRosa.

And all that holiday merry-making can lead to stress, which is tough on the system.

“Stress can be very challenging for the heart and the body in general,” DeRosa tells us.

The holidays seem to push everyone on a quest for perfection, and that can add to your overall feeling of stress.

“This time of year we’re worried we’re going to ruin that holiday party. That we’re not going to be able to make the dinner, going to be able to wrap those presents,” DeRosa says. “We want everything to be perfect.”

So what symptoms can be warning signs?

For men, heart attack symptoms can be more obvious. Men tend to get the “elephant on the chest” feeling, jaw pan, or pain radiating down the arm. They’re often seen in the movies clutching their chest and dropping to the floor.

But for women, the symptoms can be more subtle. They include pain in the arms, back, neck or jaw, shortness of breath, a cold sweat , fatigue, nausea, or even flu-like symptoms.

“We have to be cautious and be very in tune with our body because if something’s not right, you need to ask for help,” says DeRosa.

The best way to protect yourseld?  Make sure to breathe, take time to rest, and get plenty of sleep. And while it’s easier said than done during the holidays, try to eat well, stay hydrated, and get regular exercise.

Also, if you experience any of those waning signs, help, immediately. Often people delay treatment until after the holidays.


Dr. Angela DeRosa is a nationally recognized expert in the field of Internal Medicine and Women's Health. DeRosa Medical has locations in Scottsdale, Sedona and Chandler. For more information, call 480-619-4097 or visit