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A new year brings new beginnings

Happy 2017! With the New Year, allow me to sound the alarm about something that is near and dear to my heart — namely, heart health.

Recently on National Public Radio, the question was posed: What is the number one killer of women in the U.S.? Many of us — especially women — may not know that more women die from heart disease than any other cause of death.

In fact, more women die from heart attacks than men do.

Fifteen percent of women do not have the classic chest pain that men experience with a heart attack.

Instead, women may experience shortness of breath, perhaps back pain. They may think they have indigestion. They sweat profusely and are nauseated. Whether we make resolutions for the New Year or not, we need to know more about our hearts.

Health care for all women should include a primary care doctor or internist who evaluates a woman as a whole person and that includes cardiovascular health. Common and faulty attitudes must also be addressed.

Women often deny their illnesses and soldier on. The average wait before women go to an emergency room or call their physician when they are having symptoms they think might be a heart attack is four hours longer than for men. Let us help save our own lives and others. If symptoms could be a heart attack, do not wait. Seek medical or emergency help immediately.

On Tuesday, a special election will be held in Buckingham County and other localities that comprise the 22nd State Senate District. This election is required to fill the unexpired term of U.S. Rep. Tom Garrett who resigned from the Virginia Senate after his election to the U.S. Congress in November.

The election on Tuesday will be open to all registered voters with all regular precincts open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. that day. If you are unable to vote on Election Day, you can go by the Buckingham County Elections Office and cast an absentee ballot until Saturday.

The elections office is open from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information, call the Buckingham Elections Office at (434) 969-4304 or visit the website of the Virginia Department of Elections at www.elections.virginia.gov.

The Beulah M. Wiley Fitness Center, of the Central Virginia Community Health Center, is offering lower membership rates in 2017 with members charged only $20 a month for year-long contracts or only $25 for monthly memberships. There are also new classes being offered including the new “body attack class” beginning Thursday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. Call (434) 581-3271, ext. 10601 for more information.

Janet Miller is a poet, painter and retired educator. Her email address is janet.miller@farmvilleherald.com.