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What can I do to prevent Heart Disease?

Women, in general, are known for addressing the needs of everyone else in their lives first, and get around to caring for themselves last. We make it a point to emphasize the importance of self-care to our patients. Take time each day to exercise, fuel your body with a diet of healthy foods and take care of your mind by making time for even a few moments of silence.

February is Women’s Heart Month! It’s a time when we, along with the American Heart Association, place an emphasis on educating women about their risks, signs and symptoms of heart disease that are often uniquely different from men. Our patients are often surprised to hear that heart disease (not cancer) is the leading cause of death in women. Its a fact that one in four women will die of heart disease and a woman will suffer a heart attack every 90 seconds in the United States. Women, unlike men, often experience symptoms like shortness of breath without an obvious cause, dizziness or feeling faint, sudden development of heartburn-like symptoms, upper back pain or jaw pain. These symptoms can start off as mild, subtle and intermittent. As a result, women often delay seeking medical attention as a result.

Take care of yourself. Heart disease is preventable. Here are some top tips:

-Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to learn your personal risk for heart disease.

-Quit smoking. Did you know that just one year after you quit, you’ll cut your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent?

-Start an exercise program. Just walking 30 minutes a day can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.

-Modify your family’s diet if needed. Everyone, including our children benefit from a heart healthy diet!

-Don’t wait! Seek medical attention immediately if any of these subtle symptoms occur. Early diagnosis and treatment is truly life-saving.

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