To Your Health: Have a Heart to Heart
Heart disease continues as the leading cause of death for both men and women. CDC reports, however, that over half of these deaths are caused by preventable factors.
The heart of women
As heart disease remains the number one chronic disease for American women, there are certain risk factors that should be factored into the equation. Some of the risk factors can be controlled while others cannot.
Controllable factors include
- Diet: Choose foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat or fat-free dairy, lean protein and heart-healthy fats and fiber. Fruits and vegetables are especially high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which may help control blood pressure.
- Physical inactivity: Strive for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
- High blood pressure: Must be monitored as it often has no warning signs.
- High Cholesterol: High blood levels can build up in artery walls.
- Aging: As women get older, their risk for heart disease goes up.
- Gender: More women than men have heart attacks and strokes as they age.
- Family History: A woman who has a close blood relative with heart disease has an increased chance of heart disease.
- Race: Black women have a higher risk of heart disease than white women.
- Previous Heart Attack: If a woman has already had a heart attack, she is at risk of having another one.
Are you managing the controllable risk factors listed above? Are you doing your best to have a healthy heart? You owe it to yourself to be honest and have a real heart to heart.