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Prevent Heart Disease

Women can Prevent Heart Disease

More women die from heart disease than from any other cause. About one in five American women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because the arteries that supply the heart with blood can slowly narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances (plaque).

Nine out of 10 women have at least one risk factor for heart disease. Risk factors include:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • smoking
  • a family history of premature heart disease

Obesity also increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and pre-diabetes, which increases the risk of heart disease.

Menopause does not cause heart disease. But the decline in estrogen after menopause may be one of several factors in the increase in heart disease risk.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack in Women

As with men, the most common symptom of a heart attack in women is chest discomfort.

But you can have a heart attack without chest pain or pressure. And women are more likely than men to have other symptoms such as back pain, jaw pain, shortness of breath, indigestion, and nausea/vomiting

Symptoms can include:

➊ An ache or feeling of tightness in the chest, arm(s), neck, jaw, back, or abdomen. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.

➋ Shortness of breath

➌ Nausea/vomiting

➍ Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

➎ Extreme fatigue

➏ Breaking out in a cold sweat

Healthier Lifestyle

Just walking 30 minutes a day can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke. Walking is one of the simplest ways to get active and stay active. With each step you take, you travel further down the path to a healthier lifestyle. Most adults should try for at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week of moderate intensity activity.

Did you know that just one year after you quit smoking, you’ll cut your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent?


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