In honor of National Heart Month, I am going to share some facts about heart attacks in women. You see, many women have undiagnosed heart disease because many of their symptoms are not the same as what you see on TV or read about. Women can have what appears to be indigestion or anxiety and it turns out to be heart disease or even a heart attack. The key to having a healthy heart is to be educated, reduce stress, exercise, eat healthy and know your family history.
Here is some information from Go Red For Women which is part of the American Heart Association. https://www.goredforwomen.org/
It’s true: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in women. Yet, only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
Take Amy Heinl, for example, an avid marathon runner and fitness devotee. Heart disease was the furthest thing from her mind – until she collapsed during an early-morning workout. A diagnosis of heart disease followed, and it took her completely by surprise.
“I really couldn’t believe this happened to me,” Amy says. “I thought of myself as a healthy person, and I was exercising when it happened. I truly believed I had pulled a muscle.” Which is why her friend called 9-1-1, not Amy.
The truth is, women are less likely to call 9-1-1 when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack themselves. It simply doesn’t occur to them to do so. And why would it? The bulk of media attention on the disease is focused on men.
Here are more unsettling facts:
- Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
- 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 symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood.
- While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.
How can I prevent it?
Many things can put you at risk for these problems – one’s you can control, and others that you can’t. But the key takeaway is that with the right information, education and care, heart disease in women can be treated, prevented and even ended.
Studies show that healthy choices have resulted in 330 fewer women dying from heart disease per day. Here are a few lifestyle changes you should make:
- Don’t smoke
- Manage your blood sugar
- Get your blood pressure under control
- Lower your cholesterol
- Know your family history
- Stay active
- Lose weight
- Eat healthy