21 Feb Women and Heart Disease Prevention
Heart Disease is the #1 killer in women. Yet, only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat. Women are less likely to call
9-1-1 when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack themselves. It’s time to focus on finding, and becoming the solution!
- Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute. 1in 31 American women die from breast cancer each year.
- 90% of women have 1 or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen.
- The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men and are often misunderstood.
Causes of Heart Disease
Heart Disease affects the blood vessels and cardiovascular system. Numerous problems can result from this, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis, a condition that develops when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.
- Heart failure of congestive heart failure, which means that the heart is still working, but it isn’t pumping blood as well as it should, or getting enough oxygen.
- Arrhythmia or an abnormal rhythm of the heart, which means the heart is either beating too fast, too slow, or irregularly. This can affect how well the heart is functioning and whether or not the heart is able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
- Heart valve problems can lead to the heart not opening enough to allow proper blood flow. Sometimes the heart valves don’t close and blood leaks through, or the valve leaflets bulge or prolapse into the upper chamber, causing blood to flow backward through them.
Many things can put you at risk for these problems – one’s you can control, and others you can’t. With the right information, education and care, heart disease in women can be treated, prevented and even ended. Studies show that healthy choices have resulted in 330 fewer women dying from heart disease per day. Here are a few lifestyle changes you should make:
Manage your blood sugar!
Lower your cholesterol!
Know your family history!
Stay active! Lose weight!
Get your blood pressure under control!