Women And Heart Disease

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Women And Heart Disease



It is important to catch the early signs of heart disease, however these signs present in different ways in men and women. For women, age becomes a risk factor at 55, however some can develop some form of heart disease at younger ages. Currently, cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects approximately 84 million of adults and is the leading cause of death in women. A recent study led by Dr. Cheng of Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston, MA found that CVD affects more ‘women and blacks than men and whites’. The most commonly recognized symptom is chest pain, pressure or discomfort (angina). Unlike the signs we often see in movies, a man clutching his chest, CVD in women tends to be less obvious, hence it’s commonly called the ‘silent killer’. This pain arises when the heart is getting too little or no blood. What is CVD? The collective term CVD is used to describe a number of problems affecting the heart and it’s blood vessels. The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD) and is the leading cause of heart attacks. Among women, African Americans have higher instances of heart disease. It affects twice as many black than white women. Some factors contributing this difference include higher rates of obesity or overweight, higher levels of elevated cholesterol and blood pressure. Limited awareness of the risk factors also adds to this statistic. There are a number of things that can help you reduce the risk of developing heart disease: 1. Eat healthy : * Reading the nutrition facts on the food label can help you make healthy choices. * Choose foods that are low salt or low sodium * Limit foods that have ‘trans fats’ as too much of this can clog arteries and cause heart attacks * Cut back on sugary products - they are also labeled as glucose, fructose, sucrose and corn syrup 2. Managing health conditions - common health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure can increase risk of heart disease Take your medications are directed; only stop when you're instructed by your doctor If you have diabetes, always check your blood sugar level Get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked Ask your doctor how you can safely manage your condition when you're pregnant As some women need a device to help their heart work, talk to your doctor about what device is better for your heart condition Know The Signs: * Chest pain or discomfort * unusual upper body discomfort * shortness of breath * breaking out in a cold sweat * unusual and unexplained tiredness * sudden dizziness or lightheadedness * Nausea - feeling sick to the stomach The American Heart Association recommends calling 911 immediately if you experience one or more of these heart attack symptoms. It may save your life. You can read more on the recent study on heart disease and how it affects women here: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2014/08/11/women-blacks-hit-harder-by-heart-disease-risk-factors



Comments

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Very intelligent writing, very useful. My mom actually let her heart condition go to the point that she needs a transplant and I hope there's still time. She has a LVAD to help her heart function. Left side is 2% EF , right side is now 10% EF. She wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for this mechanical device assisting her heart pump. She actually still works too. Very strong woman!

Jan 21, 2015 - 10:47 PM by Adrienne C

That's awesome that your mom is very active and working Adrienne! The LVAD is a godsend for people like your mom. Thank you kindly for commenting on my post.

Jan 22, 2015 - 11:13 AM by Musole K

Great information thanks

Dec 16, 2014 - 6:42 PM by Linda N

Hi, Linda, I am glad you find it useful.

Dec 17, 2014 - 9:32 AM by Musole K

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