Heart disease in women is the leading cause of death, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, nearly two-thirds of those who die suddenly from heart disease had no prior symptoms.
Unfortunately, women tend to delay going to the doctor because symptoms can be perceived as mild or attributed to other factors such as stress, fatigue or menopause. This is why it is critically important to raise awareness about prevention, early detection, accurate diagnosis and proper treatment of heart disease in women.
Limit Your Risk
By incorporating a healthy diet and lifestyle, you can bring about positive changes for your health and help limit your risk for heart disease or a heart attack.
- Do not smoke. Tobacco is the number one preventable cause of death.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet including less unhealthy fat, cholesterol and salt and more sources of low-fat protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day (or shorter bursts of ten minutes at a time, three times a day).
- Maintain a desirable body weight.
- Limit stress as much as possible.
- Limit your use of alcohol.
Pay Attention to Changes
One of the most important thing women can do for heart health is to pay special attention to your body and report any sudden changes you may be experiencing to your primary care provider.
Changes such as:
- a change in tolerance to exercise or exertion;
- extreme fatigue;
- breaking out in a cold sweat; and
- discomfort in the upper body, especially the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach, are often ignored, but can point to heart disease.
If you suspect you or a loved on has a heart condition, call your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary doctor, please call the Saint Francis Health Link at 918-488-6688 or search our provider directory to find one that fits your needs.
To learn more about heart health and women, view and share our brochure.