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[bitsontherun BvpHXNFA]COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) -According to doctors, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Heart disease can effect people of all ages and backgrounds. Symptoms, however, can differ in each patient.

“You’re either having symptoms of heart disease or you’re having a heart attack. If your symptoms last longer than 10 minutes and don’t go away with rest then call 911 immediately,” said Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Madeline King.

Heart disease was once considered a man’s disease, coining terms like the “Widow Maker.” Recent studies conducted in the past decade prove that women are also at high risk.

“Especially women have a hard time, they’re in denial, they think it’s going to go away and they won’t call 911 or they’ll just take an aspirin or call the doctors office or drive themselves to the ER,” added King.

Waiting to seek treatment could be a fatal mistake. Symptoms include chest pain, pressure, aching, vomiting and even dizziness.

“If it goes untreated it can progress to a heart attack and then once the heart attack happens part of your heart muscle will die and you will develop conjunctive heart failure which is usually not reversible,” said King.

While genetics do play a role in heart disease, there are ways to maintain your cardiovascular health. Exercise, a heart friendly diet, and regular screenings are just a few ways you can keep your heart ticking, for years to come.

Baptist Memorial Golden Triangle also hosted a women’s heart dinner Thursday tonight in Columbus.

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