Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for women in Mississippi. Medical professionals say the disease can be prevented.
Elaine Jones was on her way back from a football game in Spetember of 20-12, when she began to feel discomfort in her chest.
"My chest started feeling tighter, started to feel some tightness around my shoulders," says Jones. "I just couldn't get comfortable so I thought if i just loosened up my clothes I would be okay. When I got home that's when the bottom feel out and he took me to St. Dominic's Hospital and that's when I was diagnosed with having cardiac arrest."
Just a little over a month later, Jones -- who was 52 at the time -- had a second heart attack. Her story is not that uncommon. According to the American Heart Association, one-in-three women die from heart disease and stroke. In Mississippi alone, 13 women die every day from cardiovascular related illnesses. Part of the reason is because the state leads the nation in rates of obesity, diabetes,smoking and hyper-tension. Doctor Myrna Alexander-Nickens is a cardiologist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
"You can't change your family history," says Alexander-Nickens. "You can't change that, but you can certainly change some of the risks that can lead to it. Cigarette smoking, you can change your lipid levels, you can chage what you're putting into your body because all of that makes a difference."
While cardiovascular disease remains one of the leading causes of death in the state, officials with the American Heart Association say the number of women dying from the disease has declined in recent years due to awareness of the issue.