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.
HEART DISEASE RISK FACTORS:
- 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.
NO YOUR NUMBERS:
- 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.
SIGNS OF A HEART ATTACK:
(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.
SIGNS OF A STROKE AND TIAs:
- 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.
PREVENTION TIPS FOR WOMEN:
- 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.