Heart disease is the nation's leading killer of women. But heart health awareness of risk factors and living a healthy lifestyle can help keep heart disease at bay.
Among women, 90% have one or more risk factors for heart disease at some point in their lives, according to American Heart Association statistics. Yet 80% of cardiovascular diseases are preventable.
Hits Close to Home
I was hit hard by a friend's tragic passing a couple of years ago. It made me think about how to save a life...and how to save my own.
Jodi was a college friend and sorority sister, a successful attorney who had become the first female partner in her firm, wife of 22 years to her college sweetheart, and mother of 3 beautiful girls. She was only 48 years old when she had a major coronary event that took her life. Our sisterhood community was rocked.
I can't bear the thought of this happening to anyone else close to me, so I am doing my part to educate you and as many women as I can on how to save a life.
Making an Impact
I’m excited to be nominated for the American Heart Association Go Red for Women movement's Woman of Impact campaign. As part of this year’s nationwide class of changemakers, I’ve brought together a team that’s working to make the greatest impact possible on women’s health. We will be raising much-needed funds for Go Red for Women and working to improve the health of our communities.
Since 2004, Go Red For Women has been addressing the awareness and clinical care gaps of women's greatest health threat, cardiovascular disease. The global movement is dedicated to walking hand in hand with women at every age, every stage, and every season as a trusted health partner.
As a driving force in transforming women's health, Go Red for Women is committed to:
Addressing inequities in science and research by championing lifesaving discoveries for women and by women
Demanding equal access to health care for all women and their families
Helping women find their best selves through solutions that support mental health and well-being
Standing up for moms before, during, and after pregnancy to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease through education, resources, and support
Increasing women in STEM in upcoming generations
Our team is driven to prevent heart disease and stroke. We’re building awareness, promoting healthy lifestyles, and raising funds to support research and education initiatives. Why? because losing even one woman to cardiovascular disease is one woman too many.
Heart Health Tips
Here are top tips for heart health:
Get annual check-ups. Become knowledgeable of your key health numbers, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. For example, blood pressure of less than 120/80 is considered normal.
Know the symptoms of a heart attack. Women's heart attack symptoms may cover a wider spectrum compared with symptoms in men. Women may experience the "classic" heart attack symptoms of chest pressure, chest discomfort or shortness of breath, just as men do.
But women also may have symptoms such as back pain, usually on the left side; shoulder pain; a fullness in the stomach; or nausea as signs of an impending heart attack.
Tell your doctor if you had a pregnancy complication. Recent research has focused on heart disease linked to pregnancy-related complications. Diabetes and hypertension during pregnancy as well as early delivery have been linked to increased cardiovascular disease risk years later.
Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep – getting less than six or seven hours a night – is connected to heart disease, research has shown. Poor sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, can make it difficult to lose weight and may make you less likely to want to exercise.
Tame stress. Chronic stress is another area of concern for women. It can lead to behaviors and factors that impact heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inactivity and overeating.
Go a Step Further
A calcium score test can help your healthcare provider decide if you need treatment to prevent a heart attack or stroke. Test results are most helpful for people who don’t have a clear high or low risk, but are somewhere in the middle. A calcium score test is quick and noninvasive.
A calcium scoring test can assist healthcare providers in making treatment decisions for people with borderline risk of heart disease. Calcium score testing results could help you if you’re between ages 40 and 70 and at increased risk for heart disease but don’t have symptoms.
Calcium Score tests are not covered by insurance, but they range from only $60-$75 from what I've seen. I got mine done last year, and it gave me and my family peace of mind.
Do You Want to Help Make an Impact?
There are 3 things you can do immediately to make an impact:
Follow the steps above and take an active role in your heart health!
Join my team and help me raise awareness over the next 8 weeks.
Donate to the cause and help me raise awareness.