By Marie-Louise Connolly and Catherine Smyth
BBC News NI
Heart illness is the biggest slayer of women worldwide but remains underdiagnosed and undertreated, according to a starring cardiologist.
Dr Susan Connolly, a advisor astatine Galway University Hospital, said it was important women were alert of the risks of bosom disease.
The cognition that it mostly affects men needed to beryllium eradicated, she added.
The hazard to women starts to summation astatine the clip of the menopause owed to hormonal changes, said Dr Connolly.
"Before the menopause, women's hazard of bosom illness is overmuch little than men's but past they rapidly drawback up afterwards and it is thought to beryllium owed to the diminution successful oestrogen which is really a bosom protective hormone," she said.
The contented was discussed during a menopause gathering successful Londonderry led by advisor gynaecologist Dr Sandra McNeill, who focused connected cardiovascular disease.
Speaking to women astatine the Derry Well Woman centre, Dr McNeill outlined the relation of the bosom protective hormone oestrogen.
She said she would promote women to beryllium successful the champion wellness they could beryllium erstwhile they deed menopause.
This includes not smoking, watching their weight, intoxicant intake and exercising.
"Traditionally it was felt that bosom problems lone happened to men. Unfortunately that is not true.
"Women are protected successful a definite mode up until the menopause by oestrogen.
"Post-menopause women, erstwhile we deficiency oestrogen, our bosom wellness catches up and unluckily overtakes men successful a detrimental fashion.
"We whitethorn not person the aforesaid symptoms arsenic men, the classical symptoms that we would person been taught astatine aesculapian school.
"But post-menopausal women are astatine a higher hazard of cardiovascular illness than men and cardiovascular illness successful post-menopausal women is the biggest killer."
As portion of the enactment clinic, Dr McNeill illustrated a method known arsenic paced breathing which helps women woody with each menopausal symptoms.
It aims to unfastened up the diaphragm, dilatory down enactment and little affectional intensity.
One of the those attending, Marie Dunne, said she recovered the applicable proposal adjuvant and that she would beryllium making usage of it.
Ms Dunne, who has cardiomyopathy - a illness of the bosom musculus - encouraged each women to beryllium proactive astir their bosom health.
"There's astir apt not 1 pistillate that hasn't gone for an oculus check-up," she said.
"They besides promote america to get our ears done truthful we tin perceive better.
"We person 2 of those - yet 1 heart."
She urged women to enactment themselves first.
"Women person a large happening of saying: 'It's grand.'"
"And 'grand' is the biggest prevarication successful the English dictionary.
"So what I would promote is, if things are going connected and you are concerned, scope retired and ask."
Biggest slayer of women?
Echoing this message, Dr Susan Connolly said she peculiarly wanted to item the contented connected International Women's Day.
"Women thin to contiguous aboriginal due to the fact that they don't realise they are having a bosom attack, they don't spot themselves astatine risk.
"It's the biggest slayer of women worldwide.
"More women dice from bosom disease, doubly arsenic galore than of bosom crab truthful it is important women are alert of their hazard for bosom illness and that starts to spell up astatine the clip of the menopause."
As good arsenic amended carnal and intelligence health, women who privation to look aft their bosom are besides advised to ticker their cholesterin levels.
Menopause and bosom wellness volition beryllium discussed astatine an all-Ireland virtual lawsuit connected Wednesday evening hosted by the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health.