Heart Disease: The #1 Killer!
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability in women in the United States and in Florida.
- It kills almost 500,000 women a year—that’s about one woman per minute!
- A woman is 12 times more likely to die of heart disease than from breast cancer, but only 8% of women know that heart disease is such a threat!
- 50% of men and 64% of women who die of sudden cardiac death experienced no previous symptoms of heart disease.
- 23% of females age 40 & over and 18% of males who experience a heart attack will die within a year.
These staggering statistics are further compounded by the fact that women have different signs and symptoms of heart disease than men. Many physicians are not aware of these differences, making early detection and diagnosis difficult. For these reasons, women must be proactive and vigilant in their medical health. Ask your doctor about your heart disease risk factors and how they can be reduced. If you have a family history of heart disease, particularly if you have family members who died of heart disease before the age of 60, please let your doctor know!
The symptoms for heart disease can be more subtle in women than in men and may take longer to develop. Many women are so busy taking care of their family that they forget to take care of themselves. Don’t be a statistic! Get screened and take action before it’s too late!
♥ Eat a heart-healthy diet low in salt, refined sugars, and saturated fat (red meats and dairy products) and high in fiber.
♥ Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
♥ Stop smoking and change your daily habits to avoid being tempted to smoke.
♥ Limit alcohol to no more than two drinks a day.
♥ Reduce stress through relaxation techniques and a positive attitude. Learn what works best for you!
♥ Take your medication for your high blood pressure or high cholesterol without fail.
♥ Know your numbers through regular screenings.
Get checked regularly!
If you are over the age of 18, you should check your blood pressure at least once a year and your cholesterol at least once every 3 years. If you are over the age of 45, check your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar (glucose) at least once a year.
Remember, heart disease is NOT a death sentence: heart disease can be stopped and even reversed with the proper corrective measures.
Heart Attacks in Women
Learn the Warning Signs: A woman may experience the symptoms of a heart attack differently than a man. Some women who have had heart attacks claim to have experienced symptoms up to a month before having their heart attack.
SYMPTOMS PRIOR TO A HEART ATTACK:
♥ Fatigue - unusual or extreme exhaustion while performing daily activities that you used to do easily (e.g. making a bed).
♥ Difficulty Sleeping - anxiety or restlessness.
♥ Shortness of Breath
SYMPTOMS DURING A HEART ATTACK:
♥ Nausea can occur prior to or during a heart attack.
♥ Chest pressure, pain or discomfort can be painful or feel more like pressure, squeezing or fullness.
♥ Discomfort may also be felt in one or both arms, the shoulders, the jaw, neck or abdomen.
♥ Other symptoms may include dizziness, cold sweat, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
When you, or someone you are with, experiences ANY of these symptoms or is unresponsive, CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY!
Don’t wait to see if symptoms subside. Every second counts.
The bottom line is, communicate with your doctor. If routine chores are suddenly too difficult to perform or you feel that something is not right, seek the advice of a physician.