The 411 on Women and Heart Disease
2/1/2013 11:49:00 AM
Every woman should be wearing red today.
February is American Heart Month, drawing attention to heart disease, America’s No. 1 killer. We kick off this month with the 10th National Wear Red Day on February 1. Go Red For Women asks that across America, women rock their red today! Heart disease is still our No. 1 killer – it affects more women than men and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease, yet only one in five American women believes that heart disease is her greatest health threat. It could be one doesn't think they are at risks. Risk factors from our friends at the American Heart Association include:
Get moving! Start thinking about your heart by including more physical activity into your daily routine. Take a walk,ride a bike or take the stairs.
Get checked! During a heart checkup, your doctor takes a careful look at your "numbers," including your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, your blood pressure and more. Knowing your numbers is an important part of keeping your heart-healthy. It can help you and your doctor know your risks and mark the progress you're making toward a healthier you.
Get Smoke-free! Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. If you smoke cigarettes (or cigars), you have a higher risk of illness and death from heart attack, stroke and other diseases. So if you don't smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, love your heart and quit today. Need more motivation? Visit heart.org for help quitting smoking.
Get History! Uncovering family history can help you to better understand your risk for heart disease. If you have a blood relative with heart disease or a risk factor for genetic heart disease, your risk for developing it significantly increases.
Other factors?Start eating healthy and obtain a healthy weight. If you eat a diet high in saturated fat and trans fatty acids, you’re more likely to have high cholesterol. Eating a more balanced diet not only lowers your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease, but helps unclog your arteries as well. Don't forget -where there is obesity, you up the chance for a stroke. And find a way to de-stress. Stress — especially chronic that may be career issues, financial concerns, health, or marital problems — plays a critical role in your upping your risk for heart disease.
While 90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease, some don't even think they could be at risk for that or much less a heart attack. About 450,000 women suffer heart attacks each year; in fact, cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S. Charlotte Evans, BDO staff writer debunks some myths for us. Click here to get more.