I've recently started wondering, what are the things every woman needs to know about heart disease? Upon researching this topic, I discovered that I had several misconceptions about this illness. I wanted to share my findings with you to help clear up any misconceptions that you may have, too. Here are 7 things every woman needs to know about heart disease.
1. Not Everyone is Overweight
One of the things every woman needs to know about heart disease is that you don't have to be overweight to get this illness. Of course, being overweight is one thing that can contribute to heart disease, but you can develop heart disease even if you are at an ideal weight. Other things such as family history, age, and lifestyle can contribute to heart disease. Not getting enough sleep can also increase your changes of getting this disease. As part of a healthy lifestyle, you should aim for 7- 8 hours of sleep each night.
2. Smoking Increases Your Risk
I am a former smoker. When I smoked I don't think that I realized how much damage I was doing to my heart. Smoking can increase your risk of developing heart disease by about 20%. When you smoke, the amount of oxygen that is going to your heart decreases. Smoking also speeds up your heart rate and raises your blood pressure. If you currently smoke, speak with your doctor about different methods to help you quit. .
3. Aspirin Can Be a Life Saver
If you think that you may be having a heart attack, don't ignore it. As soon as you notice any symptoms, call 911 and get to the emergency room as soon as possible. If you are having a heart attack, chewing 325mg of aspirin can also save your life. When you chew up aspirin, it can help increase the blood flow to your heart. Many women who have had heart attacks or know that they have heart disease carry aspirin with them at all times.
4. Leading Cause of Death
Do you know what the leading case of death for women in the United States is? If you guessed heart disease, then you're right. Many people believe that cancer is the main causes of death for women, but that’s not true. Heart disease actually causes more deaths among women than all forms of cancers combined. Statistics show that 1 out of every 2 women will develop heart disease after they reach the age of 40.
5. Age Doesn't Matter
I am 30 years old, so the possibility of having heart disease is something that has never concerned me. Until I started looking at heart disease and heart attack statistics, I thought that heart disease was something that only affected older people. The truth is that heart disease can affect people of any age. More and more people are developing heart disease at a younger age, due to an unhealthy lifestyle There are also people who are born with heart disease or develop it as a child.
6. Family History Matters
Knowing your family medical history is extremely important. This will allow you to know what illnesses you're more at risk for developing. It is important to make your family doctor aware of your family medical history. If someone in your immediate family has had heart disease, your risk for developing heart disease greatly increases. You will need to watch for signs of heart disease and be sure to monitor your blood pressure, keep your cholesterol under control, and avoid smoking.
7. Symptoms of a Heart Attack
When a woman has a heart attack, she may not have the same symptoms as a man. Both men and women are likely to feel pressure and pain in the center of their chest when having a heart attack. You may also feel dizzy or lightheaded, experience nausea, vomiting, jaw pain, back pain, or break out in a cold sweat. One common symptom of a heart attack that women experience is shortness of breath. If you think that you're having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. It's easy to overlook the signs of a heart attack or to mistake them for something else. Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack will help prevent you from misdiagnosing yourself.
Do you have heart disease or know someone who does? What do you think are the most important things for women to know about heart disease? I am looking forward to hearing from you.