Message From Our Office:
[hr] “Heart disease in women can be difficult to detect, but it is much easier to prevent. Get the facts, talk to your primary care provider, and ‘GO RED‘ for women and heart health!”
Dr. Jaime Bowman
Did You Know:
Heart Disease Is The #1 Killer Amongst Women
According to the American Heart Association, only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat. Wow, what a startling statistic!
The truth is, women are less likely to call 911 when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack themselves. It simply doesn’t occur to them to do so and with the bulk of media attention on the disease being focused on men, isn’t it time to remind everyone just how important heart health is to us all!
Here are some more facts to share….
- Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
- 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen.
- The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood.
- While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.
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Heart disease affects the blood vessels and cardiovascular system. Numerous problems can result from this, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis, a condition that develops when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.
But it doesn’t end there. Heart disease can take many other forms as well:
- Heart failure or congestive heart failure, which means that the heart is still working, but it isn’t pumping blood as well as it should, or getting enough oxygen.
- Arrhythmia or an abnormal rhythm of the heart, which means the heart is either beating too fast, too slow or irregularly. This can affect how well the heart is functioning and whether or not the heart is able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
- Heart valve problems can lead to the heart not opening enough to allow proper blood flow. Sometimes the heart valves don’t close and blood leaks through, or the valve leaflets bulge or prolapse into the upper chamber, causing blood to flow backward through them.
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Many things can put you at risk for these problems – one’s you can control, and others that you can’t. But the key takeaway is that with the right information, education and care, heart disease in women can be treated, prevented and even ended.
Studies show that healthy choices have resulted in 330 fewer women dying from heart disease per day. Here are a few lifestyle changes you should make:
- Don’t smoke
- Manage your blood sugar
- Get your blood pressure under control
- Lower your cholesterol
- Know your family history
- Stay active
- Lose weight
- Eat healthy
What’s with all the hype about GO RED?
In 2003, the American Heart Association faced a challenge; Cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet women were not paying attention. In fact, many even dismissed it as an “older man’s disease.” To dispel these myths of heart disease as the No. 1 killer of women, the American Heart Association, along with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute created National Wear Red Day® to raise awareness of this critical issue. Each year, on the first Friday in February, millions of women and men come together to wear red, take action and commit to fighting this deadly disease.
One year later, in 2004, the AHA also created Go Red For Women – a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health as well as band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges women to know their risk for heart disease and use the tools that that Go Red For Women provides to take action to reduce their personal risk.
Palouse Medical Takes Heart Health Seriously!
That is why we are GOING RED all month long! We want to help make a difference and spread the word that it is time to focus on the solution. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to follow our advocacy efforts and share what makes you want to live heart healthy. JOIN WITH US!
Referenced: American Heart Association. Also known as the Heart Fund. TM Go Red trademark of AHA, Red Dress trademark of DHHS.