Business owner, 35, is proof heart disease can strike younger pa - KPTV - FOX 12

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Business owner, 35, is proof heart disease can strike younger patients

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Despite her only being 35, doctors found that pain Liz Hanna was suffering was caused by an artery that was 95 percent blocked. (KPTV) Despite her only being 35, doctors found that pain Liz Hanna was suffering was caused by an artery that was 95 percent blocked. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

While researchers have come to realize that heart disease is a problem for both men and women, most people think that it is only seen in older patients, though a local woman found out the hard way that was not the case.

At age 35, bar owner Liz Hanna suffered explosive pain in her neck and shoulders. The busy working mother with two teenage boys tried to ignore the symptoms.

At first, she thought she just slept funny, but then she started feeling suddenly tired all the time.

"Every day I would run into a moment where I'd run out of breath just from walking half a block, or making my bed or sweeping the floor," Hanna explained.

She thought she might be having panic attacks, and that her problem was psychological, not physical.

It would be five months before Hanna even went to see a doctor and another four months before she got the heart-stopping diagnosis, a blocked artery.

An angiogram showed her artery was 95 percent blocked. Cardiologist Dr. Ramnik Jhooty ordered the angiogram, not something that's routinely done, especially for women in their 30s.

Dr. Jhooty then put a stent in that blocked artery, the blood started flowing again and Hanna no longer felt tired and breathless.

To keep herself heart healthy, she started cardiac rehab, changed her diet and quit smoking. And even though she owns her own bar, Mad Hanna, she only drinks one alcoholic beverage a day now.

Heart disease and stroke are the cause of one out of three deaths among women every year in the U.S., more than all cancers combined.

The American Heart Association says 80 percent of all cases of heart disease can be prevented.

Next month, Hanna will be the featured speaker at the Go Red for Women Luncheon put on by the American Heart Association.

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