What is the #1 killer of women? Breast cancer, right? Wrong!
Heart disease is the #1 killer of women, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are some heart disease facts that every woman should know, as well as the men who love them.
- Each year significantly more women than men die from heart disease and stroke.
- Lack of public knowledge about women’s heart disease is the largest healthcare threat to women.
- 80 percent of women age 40 to 60 have one or more heart disease risk factors that can be controlled or reduced.
- Risk factors that can be controlled include salt intake, smoking, high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels or low HDL (“good”) levels, high blood pressure, obesity, physical inactivity, uncontrolled diabetes and high stress levels.
- Women are far less likely than men to be tested or treated for heart disease in a timely manner.
- Women who are at risk for cardiovascular disease are often not referred for diagnostic testing that are otherwise standard for men.
- Women have more heart attacks that go unrecognized, more repeat heart attacks, and greater risk of stroke after heart attack.
- Physicians may under-evaluate and treat women because they don’t appear to be as high-risk as a man, especially if they are young and “appear healthy” with a slender build.
- Women do not know that heart attack symptoms may be different than in men. Women are more likely to feel shortness of breath, fatigue, abdominal pressure, nausea or heartburn, or jaw, neck, back, or upper shoulder pain.
- Call 911 if you think you are having any of these symptoms. Do not hesitate for a minute when calling for help. Trust your intuition that something is “not right”. Do not be concerned about looking foolish or “bothering” anyone. And do not drive yourself to the hospital. You can be attended to while riding in an ambulance, and every minute counts when diagnosing and treating a heart attack.
For more information, please visit the following websites:
The Mayo Clinic
The Female Patient
Desiree Brown, MSN,MHA,RNC-OB