Heart failure affects two-point-five million women in the United States. But some of those women are unaware of the threat they face. Nancy Poe has been living with her aches and pains for 15 years now.
She's had eight stents put in for heart disease and was diagnosed with lung cancer the same day. "Some days I hurt, but then I stop and I rest and then I get up and I keep going," said Nancy. But two years ago, she couldn't even do that. She said, "I felt like I couldn't breathe. I couldn't even walk from one room to the other room in the trailer."
Nancy's hands and feet also began to swell, and her doctor diagnosed her with congestive heart failure. It's a condition in which the heart can't pump blood the way it should. It accounts for 159-thousand women dying each year, four times as many women as breast cancer. "Women don't have the typical symptoms," according to Dr. Ali Tabrizchi. He says that often leads women to ignore them, symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling or unexplained weight gain.