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Health experts seeing more women suffering heart attacks at much younger ages

Heart disease has been No. 1 killer of women for years
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Posted at 3:04 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 17:05:10-05

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. — Megan Corbin dances every day like there’s no tomorrow.

“It’s how I can know that I can get up and continue to keep going and that no obstacle can beat me,” she said.

Corbin has a college degree in dance theater and during the pandemic, she taught dance classes online.

After a training session one night this summer, she woke up the next morning with a heavy pain in her chest.

“I couldn’t feel my left arm and my right arm was numb from the shoulder to the elbow,” she said.

Corbin, a healthy professional dancer, was having a heart attack at the age of 30.

“Never in a million years would I have thought that I would have a heart attack,” she said. “It was completely random. no family history of it.”

Health experts are now seeing more young women like Corbin suffering heart attacks in the age group of 24 to 35.

“This statistic is shocking,” said Suzanne Steinbaum, MD. “We’ve always thought that this group was not the group that going to get heart disease and they are.”

Steinbaum is a preventive cardiologist who also works with the American Heart Association.

She says the reasons for this increase in younger women developing heart disease range from diet, sleep and exercise to the stresses of balancing careers with family life. However, a lot is still unknown.

“When you look at these risk factors, 80% of the time, they’re in our control,” Steinbaum said. “But just because you are young, doesn’t mean you’re immune to heart disease.”

Steinbaum says, if you just don’t feel right, see a doctor immediately, which is something Corbin’s husband urged her to do.

Doctors diagnosed Corbin with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, but couldn’t pinpoint what triggered her heart attack.

“While I was there, they came to my room and they were like, ‘You’re keeping us on our toes. We don’t know why you had the heart attack,’” Corbin said of her experience in the hospital.

Two months after being released from the hospital, Corbin opened her own dance studio, Alter Ego Dance, in Crescent City, California.

“In a weird way, the heart attack brought me to it,” said Corbin, who is now a volunteer with the American Heart Association's initiative Go Red for Women. “You have to go after what you want today because who’s to say you’ll wake up tomorrow.”

For now, Corbin plans to keep dancing like there’s no tomorrow.