Take care of your heart and it will take care of you. This saying couldn’t be any truer especially considering heart disease; particularly in women. Consider these facts for a moment, according to the American Heart Association, an estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.
So, what causes heart disease? In short, it develops when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries making them narrow , which makes it harder for blood to flow through. The term is medically described as “atherosclerosis” There are also other forms of heart disease such as, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia or abnormal rhythm of the heart, and heart valve problems. For more information on each go here.
Heavy statistics right? To be diligent in the fight against heart disease there are some things that women can control, such as: knowing your family history, monitoring your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels and creating a healthy lifestyle that includes, exercise, healthy foods and weight loss.
If you have not done so for this year, contact your primary care provider and schedule an appointment to review your numbers or have some new lab work done. Knowing is the first step in prevention. At your next family reunion or gathering, consider asking your older relatives about your family history. You may be surprised at what you learn. If you are currently managing your heart disease continue with adhering to your medication schedule.
Take care of your heart and it will take of you!