Go Red: Understanding women’s heart health a great Valentine gift

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

Go Red Tenth Anniversary

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.

Photo courtesy of qthomasbower/flickr
Photo courtesy of Q. Thomas Bower on Flicker | https://www.flickr.com/photos/qthomasbower/

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.

Life’s Simple7

  1. Get regular physical exercise.
  2. Control and monitor cholesterol levels.
  3. Eat a healthy diet.
  4. Manage blood pressure.
  5. Lose weight and calculate body mass index (BMI).
  6. Reduce blood sugar and reduce sugar intake.
  7. 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.

Copyright © 2016 by At Your Home Familycare

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Laurie Edwards-Tate
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today. Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service. Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home. Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. Follow Laurie and AYHF at www.atyourhomefamilycare.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atyourhomefamilycare, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare