SAN DIEGO, Feb. 14, 2016 — Valentine’s Day is the day to wear red and show support for women’s heart health!
Heart disease used to be perceived as a disease that primarily affected men. Today, it is well established that heart disease is the leading cause of death each year for women in the United States, killing one in three women aged 20 and older.
Due largely to the outreach, education, research and support efforts of the American Heart Association, 34 percent fewer women in the U.S. have died from heart disease over the last 10 years.
Large-scale attention to this silent killer has led to the development of women-specific health and medical research and new guidelines for treatment and prevention.
Thanks to congressional passage of the Heart for Women Act in 2012, the FDA is required to report clinical trials based on gender.
Despite so much progress in the advancement of understanding gender-specific heart disease, taking personal responsibility for cardiovascular health is paramount.
According to Go Red For Women, there are some easy steps that can be taken to help control heart disease.
- Get regular physical exercise.
- Control and monitor cholesterol levels.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Manage blood pressure.
- Lose weight and calculate body mass index (BMI).
- Reduce blood sugar and reduce sugar intake.
- Quit smoking, or better yet, never start.
It is imperative to reduce the levels of stress in everyday life. Placing limits on consumption of alcoholic beverages is also important.
Having an annual well-woman exam by a qualified medical professional should include monitoring of heart function and blood pressure levels.
Simple blood tests may be taken to assess whether blood sugar, cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors fall within normal range.
Preventing heart disease by consuming a heart-healthy diet may be easier to do with some helpful suggestions offered by the Mayo Clinic.
- Control portion size.
- Eat fruits and vegetables fresh, frozen or canned and packed in water.
- Choose healthy whole grains over white flour and processed carbohydrates.
- Consume healthy fats, such as olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oils and nut oils, in moderation.
- Reduce intake of red and high-fat meats.
To participate in a free online clinical study and help researchers learn more about personal cardiovascular risk factors while advancing scientific research, go to https://www.health-eheartstudy.org/goredforwomen.
With recent advances and awareness in the issues around women’s heart health, every woman has the opportunity to become empowered and reduce risks for developing cardiovascular disease, while implementing strategies that can lead to an overall healthier life.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 32 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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