Heart Disease is the #1 Killer of American Women! Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. 1 in 3 American women suffers from heart disease. Women of all ages should be concerned about heart disease.
The older a woman gets, the more likely she is to get heart disease. Heart disease can permanently damage your heart—and your life. If heart disease is not treated, serious complications can develop. Three million women die from stroke each year. Stroke accounts for more deaths among women than men (11% vs. 8.4%).
Heart Attack - Know the Symptoms Most heart attacks involve uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center or left side of the chest. “All of a sudden, there was this sharp pain in my neck and jaw…” Women are more likely than men to experience sharp pain in the upper body as a symptom of a heart attack.
Know the Symptoms “No matter what I did, I couldn’t catch my breath…” Unexplained shortness of breath is one of the leading signs of a heart attack. “I kept breaking into cold sweats, and I knew it wasn’t menopause….” Cold sweats or unexplained and excessive sweating can be a sign of a heart attack.
Know the Symptoms “I hadn’t been exercising, but I felt like I’d just run a marathon…” More than half of women having a heart attack experience unexplained or unusual tiredness and muscle fatigue not related to exercise. “I felt dizzy and lightheaded, like I stood up too fast…” Unlike in the movies, most heart attacks do not make you pass out right away. Instead you may suddenly feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Know the Symptoms Call 9-1-1 if you have any of these symptoms! “I couldn’t shake this feeling of intense nausea.” Women are twice as likely as men to experience nausea or vomiting as a sign of a heart attack. Resources: American Heart Association NIH, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Cleveland Clinic
Why Women Do Not Take Action • They think it’s just a man’s disease • They don’t make their health a top priority • They think they’re not old enough to be at risk • They feel too busy to make changes in their lives • They’re already feeling stressed • They’re tired
Why Women Do Not Take Action Most don’t take action because many of the signs and symptoms may be attributed to other reasons and so they are easily dismissed. For example, unexplained tiredness is usually dismissed because women think nothing of being tired.
PreventionWomen can take steps to prevent heart disease by practicing healthy lifestyle habits: ♥ Know your blood pressure & keep it under control ♥ Exercise regularly – 30 minutes, at least 3 times a week ♥ Don't smoke ♥ Get tested for diabetes and if you have it, keep it under control ♥ Know your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and keep them under control ♥ Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables ♥ Maintain a healthy weight
Resources American Heart Association, National Wear Red Day - February 3, 2012 www.GoRedForWomen.org http://goredforwomen.org/wearredday/resources/ http://www.strokeassociation.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@hcm/documents/downloadable/ucm_434181.pdf National Heart, Lung, and BloodInstitute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hdw/ http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/educational/hearttruth/ Make the Call, Don’t Miss a Beat Campaign Womenshealth.gov Red Bag of Courage Program http://www.womenheart.org/programsEvents/programs/red.cfm
Key Points • Heart Disease is the #1 killer of American women more than all the types of cancer combined. • Do not delay if you have any symptoms. • American Heart Association’s website for additional resources and information. Stay tuned for the next webinar…. March is National Nutrition Month.