Heart disease in women has become the leading killer of females in America. Heart disease has even overtaken and now kills more women than men each year. The women who survive face greater challenges than the men who have the same heart health issues. Yet many women remain unaware of the dangerous effects that cardiovascular disease (CVD) can have on their bodies. Without being properly educated about all the heart health risks, these women fail to take the precautions necessary to reduce the risk of what is in most instances is a preventable disease.
What is Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), and what causes the risk to women and what can you do to lower your risk?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an umbrella term that is used to describe any disease of the heart and blood vessels and encompasses all conditions affecting the heart muscle itself, the valves of the heart and/or the blood vessels that supply the heat (i.e., coronary arteries). Vessel disease, or vascular disease, including diseases such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries caused by the formation of plaque deposits within the arterial wall). Atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries is the main culprit behind chest pain (angina) and heart attack (myocardial infarction). Atherosclerosis typically begins to develop in childhood, but the condition is not usually a health risk level until reaching middle age.
Lower Your Risk To Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) By Learning More About The Risk Factors:
- elevated total and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels
- low HDL (high0density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels
- sedentary Lifestyles
- poor diet
- stress and depression (see Dr. Carol’s call about stress relief )
- family history of premature CVD
- middle age diabetes
The bottom line, the more your lifestyle increases these risk factors to be present, the greater the risk of atherosclerosis and increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Reduce Heart Disease In Women: Get A Health Check Up!
You can begin to reduce your risks by getting a simple preventive health checkup at your doctor’s. A blood test can provide you with the information needed to determine your specific risk type. Be sure to ask your doctor important questions such as:
- What is my risk for Heart Disease?
- What is my blood pressure reading?
- What does this reading mean for me, and what do I need to do about it?
- What are my cholesterol numbers?
- What do these numbers mean for me, and what do I need to do about them?