Know your risk, and develop healthy habits

It is estimated that about one woman dies every minute from heart disease. It’s the number one killer of women. Protecting your heart is a vital responsibility, but sometimes people aren’t exactly sure how, or aren’t aware of the dangers in the first place.

Heart disease is a term that describes a variety of conditions with a variety of causes. Some suffer from congenital heart defects (they’re born with issues), while others have atherosclerosis, which is when the artery walls harden, often leading to strokes. Coronary heart disease is when the heart muscles don’t get enough oxygen, and this is very common.

The main contributing factors for heart disease include lack of physical activity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and obesity. Family history, or genetics, also plays a role.

It is important for women to know their individual risk factors. Also, remember that heart attack symptoms might be different for a woman, compared to a man. Because of this, sometimes heart attacks in women aren’t given the attention they need.

More than 40 million women in the United States are affected by cardiovascular disease. It’s time to be educated.

Heart Disease In Hispanic Women

Unfortunately, Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women, according to goredforwomen.org. Studies also show that many Hispanic women don’t know that heart disease is their greatest health risk, even though it is.

Heart Healthy Habits

  • Visit a cardiologist annually to understand your risks and to be educated about prevention. A checkup should include tests on weight and BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol, and a heart exam.
  • Know your family history of heart disease.
  • Keep track of your activity levels each day, and know your blood pressure.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Choose birth control carefully. Some kinds can increase blood pressure.
  • Take time to calm stress; it’s a contributing factor to heart problems.

Learn about cardiology diagnostics and treatment at our office.