Grammy-winning singer Toni Braxton, 55, shared how doctors recently discovered a blockage in the largest artery of her heart — which could have led to the most deadly type of heart attack, called the “widowmaker,” had they not “immediately” inserted a stent.
But prior to the appointment, Braxton did not suspect she had heart trouble. She had chest pains, but said she figured grief from the recent loss of her sister was to blame. “I just thought it was just sadness,” Braxton revealed in an online interview. “It turned out to be much more serious, and I just dismissed the signs and a lot of people tend to do that.”
Braxton said she even considered skipping the appointment because she felt fine. “I would have had a massive heart attack and would not have survived,” Braxton added.
Braxton has lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack healthy tissue. “This was putting stress on my heart, which led to the arterial blockage,” she detailed.
Braxton is one of many women who miss subtle signs of a heart attack, often because symptoms such as nausea and indigestion might seem unrelated to heart issues. But getting familiar with the symptoms can save lives, as Johns Hopkins Institute has found heart attacks are rising among women aged 35 to 54.
The singer told the online publication that she’s sharing her health scare to remind others not to skip their doctors’ appointments, especially if they have a chronic disease like lupus.
“You’ve got to get those screenings done,” she said. “It’s very important.”
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