Heart Disease Prevention in Women
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease, hypertension, and stroke are the number one killers of women in America. Currently, cardiovascular disease which includes heart disease, hypertension, and stroke takes the lives of about a half a million women every year. Research proves that women are 15 percent more likely to contract cardiovascular disease than men. Even more concerning is the fact that cardiovascular disease is often misdiagnosed in women which can leave irreversible effects. (1)
Causes of Heart Disease in Women
Some of the contributors of heart disease can be controlled whereas others cannot be. Age, race, and hereditary are all things that can influence the risk of heart disease but unfortunately are out of everyone's control. (2) There are however, many causes of heart disease that are within our control. For example, tobacco use, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, obesity, diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption, and how someone reacts to stress all influence the risk of heart disease and can be controlled. (2)
Prevention of Heart Disease in Women
Sadly, women more than men are often misdiagnosed with heart disease leaving them and health care professionals extremely concerned. If more women are diagnosed properly earlier on then the fatality rate would be far less than what it is. In 2003, Sharonne Hayes, MD, who is the director of the Mayo Clinic Women's Heart Clinic in Rochester, MN says that many reasons for the high fatality rate was examined. She says that some of the reasons consisted of misdiagnosis, women not getting the proper support that they need for recovery, and women experiencing problems with a physicians attitude towards their condition. (1) One way to help lower the fatality rate of heart disease in women is to make sure that it is being diagnosed properly as well as treated properly. There are many things that you can do on your own to help prevent heart disease. You should always avoid tobacco use and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. If you are overweight it is imperative to loose those extra pounds. Not only can being over weight contribute to cardiovascular disease but other life threatening diseases. If you are currently at your target weight exercising is still very important. In-activity is still a cause for cardiovascular disease. You should always make sure you are eating a well balanced diet and stay away from foods that contain saturated fats. Also, diabetes is one of the biggest contributors to heart disease. If you are diabetic it very important to make sure your blood sugar is always within its limits. Lastly, if you suffer from high cholesterol you also need to make sure that your cholesterol levels are being maintained. There prescription medications that can help you do that. However, they have a lot of harmful and concerning side effects. Some have found natural supplements a safe and effective way of controlling their cholesterol levels.
Photo Credit: Senator Stabenow