Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year.
February is AMERICAN HEART MONTH.
Our medical team at CareWell Health Medical Center wants to help spread awareness about cardiovascular disease. To protect heart health, we’re providing education and preventative services to protect the women in our community and lower their risk of developing heart disease.
Go RED for Women Movement
In 2004, The American Heart Association launched the Go Red for Women movement to raise awareness to fight against woman’s most significant health threat — heart disease.
Today, Go Red for Women continues advocating for women’s health, funding research that saves lives, and educating women in the United States and across the world as they continue living out their commitment to breaking down unique barriers women face to achieve good health.
G-GET YOUR NUMBERS.
Regularly check your blood pressure and cholesterol at your doctor’s visits.
O-OWN YOUR LIFESTYLE
Live a healthy lifestyle that requires you to stop smoking, lose weight, exercise, and eat plenty of nutrition.
R-REALIZE YOUR RISK
Understand your risk and know the chances that heart disease can happen to you.
E-EDUCATE YOUR FAMILY
Make healthy food choices for you and your family.
D-DON’T BE SILENT
Tell every woman you know that heart disease is our No. 1 killer.
Types of Heart Disease
Heart failure means the heart continues to work but that it’s not pumping blood as well as it should or failing to get enough oxygen.
Arrhythmia or an abnormal rhythm of the heart
Arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm is when your heart beats too fast, too slow, or irregularly. How your heart beats can affect the functioning of your heart and whether or whether it can pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
Heart valve problems can cause the heart not to open enough to allow for 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.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away:
Signs & Symptoms of Heart Attack
Like men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Signs & Symptoms of Heart Attack
F- FACE. Experiencing drooping or numbness on one side of the face versus the other.
A-ARMS. Numbness or weakness in one arm versus the other.
S-STABILITY. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
T-TALKING. Change in speech, including slurring, garbled, nonsensical words.
MYTH: Heart disease doesn’t affect young women.
Fact: Heart disease affects women of all different ages. Many younger women fail to realize that lifestyle factors such as stress, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet contribute to developing cardiovascular disease. According to The American Heart Association, among females 20 years and older, nearly 45% live with cardiovascular disease. Not only that, women on the pill who also smoke raise their heart disease risk by 20 percent.
According to the American Heart Association, “10% to 20% of women will have a health issue during pregnancy, and high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes during pregnancy greatly increase a women’s risk for developing cardiovascular disease later in life.”
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of new moms and accounts for over one-third of maternal deaths, with black women having some of the highest maternal mortality rates.
MYTH: Heart attack symptoms are the same in men and women.
Fact: The most common heart attack symptom for both men and women is chest pain. However, women may experience less obvious warning signs, including fainting, indigestion, extreme fatigue, nausea, and pain or pressure in the lower chest or upper abdomen.
MYTH: I don’t have any symptoms.
Fact: 64 percent of women who suddenly die of coronary heart disease will have no symptoms.
A silent heart attack or a silent Ischemia is a heart attack with minimal or unrecognized symptoms. It occurs like any other heart attack— blood flow is temporarily blocked in the coronary arteries by a build-up of plaque. Often, women misdiagnose warning signs, blaming their symptoms on the flu or strained chest muscle or other conditions, when they’re suffering from a silent heart attack and fail to get the help.
Facts on Cardiovascular Disease In Women
- Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year
- Heart disease and stroke can affect a woman at any age, making it vital for all women to understand their personal risk factors and family history
- Black women have some of the highest maternal mortality rates.
- 51.9% of high blood pressure deaths, otherwise known as hypertension or the “silent killer,” are in women, and out of all women, 57.6% of Black females have hypertension — more than any other race or ethnicity.
- Although an estimated 4.1 million female stroke survivors living today, approximately 57.5% of total stroke deaths are in women
- 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 frequency of gestational diabetes hit 6% in 2016, up 0.4% from four years earlier.
- Cardiovascular deaths are the most common cause of maternal deaths – at 26.5%.
- High blood pressure that develops during pregnancy was associated with a 67% higher risk of later cardiovascular disease.
- Preeclampsia was associated with a 75% higher risk of later death from cardiovascular disease.
Prevention of Heart Disease
Studies show that healthy choices have resulted in 330 fewer women dying from heart disease per day. Women can reduce their risk by avoiding smoking, staying active, eating a healthy diet. Other ways women can lower their chances of developing cardiovascular disease include:
- Manage your blood sugar
- Get your blood pressure under control
- Lower your cholesterol
- Know your family history
- Lose or manage your weight
- Eat a plant-based diet
- Limit red meat consumption
Ideal Numbers For Better Heart Health:
At your next doctor’s visit, you can keep your health in check with these numbers:
Blood Pressure: 120/80 mm Hg
Body Mass Index: Body Mass Index (BMI) 25 kg / m2
Fasting Blood Sugar: 100 mg / dL
Contact CareWell Health Medical Center For Our Preventative Services
Every 80 seconds, a woman loses her life to Heart Disease. However, education and prevention can prevent 80 percent of cardiac events. Our Department of Cardiology at CareWell Health Medical Center offers a wide range of outpatient services, including Routine walk-in EKGs, echocardiography (Echo), stress test, and more. Our caring team of Board Certified medical professionals is here for you, 8 hours a day, seven days a week. Keep your heart healthy and schedule an appointment for one of our preventative services today!
“Learn about Heart Disease in Women.” Www.goredforwomen.org, https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/about-heart-disease-in-women.