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What Women Should Know About Heart Disease

By Sandy Schroeder

Most women realize protecting the heart makes sense, but in a hectic world, the issue sometimes gets lost. If you can relate, you might want to know that "Eighty percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action," according to the American Heart Association.

Here Are Some Things to Know

The American Heart Association thinks these are things women should know.

Women of all ages are affected - Birth control pills boost the risk of heart disease for younger women. Smoking increases the heart disease risk for all women by 20 percent.  For older women, overeating and sitting too much can lead to clogged arteries.

More women than men die of heart disease - Heart disease causes 1 out of every 3 deaths of women, according to the American Heart Association.

No symptoms and sudden death are linked - At least 60 percent of women who die suddenly have no previous symptoms. Instead of the classic chest pain heart attack symptom, women are more apt to be short of breath, have back or jaw pain, or feel nauseous. They may feel faint, lightheaded or dizzy and have pain in the upper abdomen or lower chest, along with excessive tiredness.

Fit women get heart disease too - You may be hitting your yoga mat every day, or running every morning, but your eating or smoking habits can undermine your fitness efforts. Doctors recommend you get your cholesterol checked by age 20, and check your blood pressure in your next checkup.

Family heart disease requires action - Instead of just giving up, women with a family history of heart disease can create an effective plan with their doctors to be heart healthy. The American Heart Association says more than 650,000 women have been saved from heart disease because they learned how to keep their hearts healthy.

Take Steps to Protect Your Heart

Take the American Heart Association seriously and see what you can do to stay heart healthy.

  • Overhaul your diet with more fruits and veggies
  • Enjoy fish at least twice a week
  • Become a regular at your local farmers market
  • Find new routes to avoid your favorite fast food spots
  • If you are not walking, jogging or running daily, get moving
  • Learn how to let go of stress with meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga or tai chi

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Flower Mound, Tex.

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