The Heart Truth
Lately I have been thinking a lot about my health. It’s as if the gods have been pointing me in the direction of taking care of my body. Maybe it’s because I’m approaching 40. Or, perhaps it’s the well-deserved media attention on the issue of women’s heart disease. See that’s the point of the celebrity-led campaigns. It brings out the press which write the news stories and all of that leads to greater awareness. In short, it works. So, please do not tune me out.This is all very important. (That’s why I’m going to intersperse pictures of pretty celebrities walking the runway for The Heart Truth.)
Not surprisingly, breast cancer is the single-most feared disease by women. But what is surprising is that while one in thirty women in the US dies of breast cancer, one in four women dies of heart disease. Neither of these numbers is acceptable but it does point out that American women don’t take the risk of heart disease seriously enough.
While some risk factors, such as age and family history of early heart disease, can’t be changed, women need to know that they have control over many other factors. Regardless of age, background, or health status, women can lower their risk of heart disease.
Here are the risk factors for heart disease. Take a good look at them.
* High blood pressure
* High blood cholesterol
* Being overweight (BMI 25 or greater)
* Being physically inactive
* Having a family history of early heart disease
* Age (55 or older for women)
Now, just having one of these risk factors doubles your chance of developing heart disease. 80 percent of women ages 40 to 60 have one or more risk factor for heart disease. And, heart disease can begin early, even in the teen years, and women in their 20s and 30s need to take action to reduce their risk of developing heart disease.
Heart disease is a lifelong condition. Once you get it, you’ll always have it. Yes, medical procedures like bypass surgery and angioplasty can help blood and oxygen flow, but once your arteries are damaged, you are more likely to have a heart attack. Period.
What you need to do?
* learn your risk factors (see list above)
* improve your diet
* increase your physical activity
Please, please put this health issue at the front of your mind.
For more information about heart disease, assessing your risk and lowering your risk for heart disease visit The Heart Truth.
Published February 17, 2010. Last updated September 16, 2018.