Heart Disease

By Ivy Bagley

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. Yet, many women still believe the myth that heart disease is predominately a male 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.

“Go Red for Women” was designed to help bring awareness to this growing problem and allow women to become more educated on the impact of heart disease. The first Friday of February, the American Heart Association encourages everyone to wear red and strike up conversations about heart disease.

To help reduce your risks factors for heart disease-

  • Don’t smoke
  • Learn Ways  to Be Healthier
  • Improve your Fitness
  • Know your Numbers- Blood Sugar, BMI, Cholesterol, and BP 
  • Know your Personal Risk Factors.
  • Lower your cholesterol
  • Know your family history
  • Stay active and encourage your family to be active.
  • Lose or manage your weight
  • Sit Less and Move More
  • See your Provider for Yearly Screening

Know the signs of a heart attack and stroke and call 911 if you suspect you are having either.

Heart Attack Symptoms-

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Stroke Symptoms-

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

However; although heart attacks and strokes are big concerns, it’s important to not forget other cardiac issues play a role in society’s health. Congenital heart disease, arrhythmias, and congestive heart failure are also important to recognize and treat.

So, this Friday Feb. 7th, wear your red for those who suffer from heart disease; to help educate others about heart disease; and to influence the changes we need to see in the cardiac care of patients.

For more information, visit www.goredforwomen.org

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