Last week we discussed the symptoms of heart disease for women. Now, let’s take a look at some of the risk factors involved. The key risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking. About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:
- Overweight and obesity
- Poor diet
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol use
You can lower your risk of heart disease. How? Quit smoking, and lower your stress level. Find healthy ways to cope with stress. Keep a close watch on your blood pressure because having uncontrolled blood pressure can result in heart disease. Make healthy food choices. Being overweight raises your risk of heart disease. Limit alcohol intake to one drink a day. Schedule an appointment to talk to one of our staff here at Creekside Center for Women about testing your cholesterol and triglycerides as well as testing for diabetes. High cholesterol and triglycerides as well as diabetes can raise your risk as well.
Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a “man’s disease,” around the same number of women and men die each year of heart disease in the United States. Despite increases in awareness over the past decade, only 54% of women recognize that heart disease is their number 1 killer.
Did you know that the leading cause of death in women was heart disease?
Information taken from:
Mosca L, Mochari-Greenberger H, Dolor RJ, Newby LK, Robb KJ. Twelve-year follow-up of American women’s awareness of cardiovascular disease risk and barriers to heart health.Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality Outcomes. 2010;3:120-7. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_03.pdf
CDC. Million Hearts: strategies to reduce the prevalence of leading cardiovascular disease risk factors. United States, 2011. MMWR 2011;60(36):1248–51. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6036a4.htm?s_cid=mm6036a4_w
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease? [cited 2013 July 19, 2013]; Available from: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hdw/signs.html
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke? [cited 2013 July 19, 2013]; Available from: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/stroke/signs.html