Believe it or not, breast cancer is not the leading cause of death in women. According to the American Heart Association, statistically, 1 out of every 3 women dies of heart disease. This number is staggering compared to a 1 out of 31 mortality rate for breast cancer.
It used to have the reputation for being a “man’s” ailment, however research shows women over 65 are equally at risk for developing heart disease. Genetic factors such as cholesterol problems, and predisposed conditions like diabetes, or chronic kidney disease contribute to a woman being considered high risk. Living a healthy lifestyle, and making changes to daily habits can help protect your heart, and raise your defenses against this serious disease.
Eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables along with lean protein. Limit saturated fats and cholesterol by eating red meat, and high-fat dairy products sparingly. If you suffer from high blood pressure consider lowering the amount of salt in your diet, or try low-salt or some herbs and spices salt substitutes.
Get up and get moving. Obesity is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, and engaging in regular exercise helps to maintain a trim waistline, and helps lower cholesterol and hypertension.
DO NOT SMOKE, or quit smoking NOW if you do. Doing so sends your chances of developing heart problems through the roof. One of the many side effects of smoking, and inhaling second-hand smoke, is that it thickens the blood causing it to clot.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers a comprehensive reference for recognizing the signs and symptoms of a cardiac event, as well as dietary, and fitness guides. Speak with your doctor to know if you are at risk and if treatments such as aspirin therapy, or statin drugs are appropriate.
February is heart disease awareness month, but really every day should be a chance for women to be aware and spread the word on how this deadly disease can be prevented.