Women’s Heart Health

January 24, 2022

Image

Friday, February 4, 2022 is National Wear Red Day, a showing of support in the fight against cardiovascular disease. This year make sure it is more to you than just coordinating the cutest red or heart-themed outfit, but that you learn the impact heart disease can have on those you love!

Why is women’s heart health so important?

Although heart disease is often thought of as a problem for older men, it affects women at a startlingly high rate. Approximately 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

What are some risk factors of heart disease?

There are risk factors that are out of our control, such as heredity, age, race and gender. However, there are risk factors that we can control, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Lack of regular activity
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Diabetes
  • Stress

Studies suggest that high levels of cortisol from long-term stress can increase blood cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure. This stress can also cause changes that promote the buildup of plaque deposits in the arteries.

How can we love our hearts and keep them healthy?

One way to help manage these conditions and keep yourself healthy is to:

  • Exercise regularly, at least three days per week
  • Eat a heart healthy diet that is low in sugar, sodium and saturated fats and high in vegetables, whole-grains and lean protein
  • Manage stress through prayer, a hobby or talking with a healthcare provider

If you or a loved one experience anything concerning or out of the ordinary, the best course of action is to consult with your primary care physician or in the case of an emergency to call 911 and get your loved one to the nearest hospital if their symptoms are severe.