Saturday, May 28, 2011


As a mom, you are so busy taking care of your family that I bet you forget about taking care of yourself.  But your family needs you to be healthy. 

Heart disease has always been considered a man's disease, but heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease or coronary artery disease, is the leading cause of death in women.

  • Heart disease is the #1 killer of women age 20 and over, killing approximately one woman every minute.
  • More women die from heart disease than the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer.
  • While 1 in 30 women die of breast cancer, 1 in 3 die of heart disease.
  • Only 1 in 5 women believe that heart disease is her greatest health risk.
  • 90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
  • 80% of cardiac events in women could be prevented if women made the right choices for their heart, including diet, exercise, and abstinence from smoking.
  • Heart disease in woman can be difficult to diagnose.
  • Women may experience a dangerous delay in heart attack care.
  • African-American women are at a greater risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases than Caucasian women.
  • African-American females have higher death rates from heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases than Caucasian women.

  • DIABETES is a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease.  Women with diabetes have 2 to 4 higher death rates from heart disease.
  • HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE usually has no symptoms, but it raises your risk of stroke, heart failure, and kidney failure.  It is considered the "silent killer".
  • CHOLESTEROL increases your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Women who smoke and take oral contraceptives may be several times more likely to suffer a heart attack.
  • Women with high job stress have a 40% increased of heart disease.
  • Normal blood pressure: Systolic (top #) - less than 120; Diastolic (bottom #) - less than 80.
  • Cholesterol: Total - less than 200-mg/dL, LDL (bad) cholesterol - less than 100-mg/dL - optimal; 100 -120-mg/dL - near optimal; 130 - 159-mg/dL - borderline high, HDL (good) cholester - 50-mg/dL or higher. 
  • Triglycerides: Less than 150-mg/dL
  • Weight/Body Mass Index (BMI): BMI of 18.5 - 24.9 - healthy weight; 25.0-29.9 - overweight; 30.0 and above - obese.

(Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain and discomfort.  Often people aren't sure what is wrong and wait too long before getting help)
  • 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.
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheartedness.
  • Women are somewhat more likely than men to experience other common symptoms, particularly  shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
  • If you have any of these signs, don't wait more than five minutes before calling   9-1-1.
  • 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 in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
  • It is important to take immediate action.  Given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke.
  • Eat good fats - omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other fish (eat at least two 3.5 oz servings per week) and monounsaturated fats in olive and canola oils raise good cholesterol.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Walk 30 minutes a day.
  • Eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Cut down on salt - less than 2,300-mg a day; 1,500-mg if you are older than 50.
  • Get happy.  Happier people enjoy 22% lower risk of developing heart disease.  Depression can triple your risk.
  • Talk to your doctor! If you are experiencing symptoms, such as stomach pain, shortness of breath, shoulder pain, fatigue or nausea, ask your doctor if it might be heart disease.
I know this is a different kind post than I normally write, but we can't take care of our familiy, if we are not taking care of ourselves. So this is just a reminder to find time to take care of yourself.



jbmthinks/sportsparenting said...

Just discovered your blog...and added it to my google reader. Always looking for good stuff on parenting. Love to have you check out my sportsparenting blog, I talk about mostly sports parenting, but also parenting in general.

Anonymous said...

You are so right. My MIL has high cholesterol, smokes, eats tons of salt, complains of mysterious pains all the time...and won't do anything about it. It breaks my heart and makes me mad because I KNOW how devastated our family is going to be when/if something happens to her. And it was her own doing. :(

Veronica Lee said...

Hi Laura! Thanks for sharing those great facts.

Have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I almost lost one of my closest friend to Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (to learn more go here and I also lost my grandfather to heart disease, so this subject in general is very near and dear to me.


Everyday Mama said...

Stopping in from SITS! What a great post and reminder. It's true that women stop going to the doctor and taking care of themselves as they get busy taking care of everyone else. Looking forward to reading more of your great posts!

Frugal in WV said...

I am one of those people that really bad about going to the doctor. Everyone else in the house does, but me. I get it from my dad, he's 71 and refuses to go to the doctor. New follower from MBC, have a great evening!

Ro @ said...

Thanks for that really informative post!! I have my physical booked next week. I actually haven't been in a few years! Hoping all is good!
We need to take care of ourselves so that we can best take care of our families!
Ro :)
new follower from VoiceBoks

Not Your Ordinary Agent said...

One of my bestfriend's mom's was home alone and had a horrible headache. She woke up early in the morning with severe pain in her head. She called 911 and when they arrived, she had fallen unconscious. She had a stroke and has suffered from a cerebral hemmorhage. She is still in the hospital and has undergone several brain surgeries. Women need to take heart disease more seriously and stay around for their families and friends.

Anonymous said...

Connie from Girl Tech Divas is your newest fan from the Monday Blog Hop. Would love it if you can hop by and follow back!

Heather said...

Hi, thanks for your comment over at my blog:) I am excited to meet a mom of teens! Thanks for this info!

Health Enclave said...

Heart Disease are very dangerous, as it occurs due to our irresponsibility, we eat thing which contain cholesterol, or have habit of smoking which leads to heart diseases, so we should stay fit and save our heart.
heart disease

Chrissyb said...

Thanks for sharing the great info! Thanks for following my blog, now following you back!

Nekky said...

I'm happy I read this post. Thanks for sharing it. Visiting from voiceBoks.

Carol said...

Great tips! A heart disease is a traitor. You'll never know when it is going to hit you. It give quite a relief to know how to recognize it and what to do - just in case.

Little Crunchy - Kimberly said...

I had no idea diabetes contributes to heart attack. Very disturbing. I thought seeing my cholesterol and blood pressure are good that I didn't have to worry.... thank you for sharing this!

Elise Adams said...

I agree...caring for ourselves MUST take priority even when we feel as if we have to fit it in all the tight spots between our families needs. My struggle is the MOVING part. Love to eat well--whole foods, healthy fats, low sugar...but I'd rather just garden and be a couch potato the rest of the time instead of working out regularly.

BTW, visiting for the first time from have a great site here :)

Claire said...

Thanks for the article. I did not know the diabetes/heart disease connection, and it is very relevant to my family.

Momfever said...

I can't really read these kind of posts, because I'll have ALL the symptoms listed and can only conclude I'm dying of a heart attack right then and there.

So I skimmed it, to protect myself from my fear. However I read enough to know it's good and important to know these things.

I also read enough to feel several heart attack symptoms coming on… Excuse me while I drop to the floor.

Barb W. said...

Vital information, thanks for sharing! I think the problem with many women not taking action is we are always so quick to dismiss our own pain and focus on that of others (at least I find this to be true with myself- caring for my children often gets in the way of my own health.) Thanks for the reminder!!

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