||Heart Health and Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women over the age of 25.
More women die of heart disease than any other disease - even breast cancer. Living with it can lead to disability and a decreased quality of life. If you have just one risk factor, it can double your risk for developing heart disease. More than one increases your chance of having heart disease.
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
- Family history of early coronary heart disease
- Age (for women, 55 and older)
How can you lower your risk?
- Talk to your doctor to find out if you are at risk
- Take action
- Don’t smoke
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get physically active
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Take medicine that is prescribed according to your doctor’s instructions
Identify the symptoms of a heart attack
For many people, the first symptom of heart disease is a heart attack. Every woman should know how to identify the symptoms of a heart attack and how to get immediate medical help. Many heart attacks start slowly as mild pain or discomfort. The most common warning signs are:
- Chest discomfort: Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of the chest. The discomfort may be mild or severe, may last a few minutes, or may come and go.
- Upper body discomfort: Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. This may occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other symptoms: Nausea, light-headedness, or a cold sweat.
Women are somewhat more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, vomiting,
nausea, and back or jaw pain.
If you think you or someone else may be having a heart attack, it is crucial to act quickly to prevent disability or death. Call 9-1-1 immediately. Emergency personnel can begin treatment to stop a heart attack on the way to the hospital.
To find out more about women and heart disease, visit The Heart Truth at www.hearttruth.gov or call the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Health Information Center at 301-592-8573.
Also visit www.mylifecheck.org. My Life Check was designed by the American Heart Association with the goal of improved health by educating the public on how best to live.
Get Active and Get Healthy!
Are you looking for fitness ideas? Visit the Fun Stuff page for Charlotte County parks, trails, sports teams and more.
Additional heart health information:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Heart Truth
My Life Check