February is American Heart Month, and women especially should take notice.  

February: American Heart Month

This February, take time to learn about the health of your heart, and raise awareness of heart disease with your family, friends and co-workers. Heart disease is manageable, and sometimes preventable, but it can be devastating if it goes ignored. 

 

Did you know that heart disease is the top killer of women?

Heart disease accounts for about 1 in 4 deaths in the U.S., which makes it the leading cause of death for all people in the United States. It is recognized as the #1 killer of women. 

 

Risk factors for heart disease include:

Some risk factors, like pre-existing conditions or family history, can’t be helped. But many risk factors for heart disease are manageable. The CDC lists three key risk factors in heart disease:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. High cholesterol
  3. Smoking

Other risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Not enough exercise
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Genetics and family history

Even if you have multiple risk factors for heart disease, you can lower your chances of developing life-threatening heart conditions with improved diet and exercise, and successfully managing your weight, diabetes and other conditions.

 

Heart disease isn’t just for the aged.

Often, people think of heart disease as something that only affects people past a certain age. But, according to the CDC, conditions that raise a person’s risk for heart disease are showing up in younger people. That means that younger people are being diagnosed with heart disease. 

Heart Health Quiz:

Q: How many Americans do you think have one of the top three risk factors for heart disease?

A: Half! 50% of all Americans are at risk for heart disease, due to high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking. 

 

Heart disease symptoms in women might not be what you think.

When you think of a heart attack, you might envision somebody complaining of pain or pressure in their chest, and pain in their left arm. But, women don’t commonly experience these classic symptoms. 

According to the Women’s Heart Foundation women are more likely to experience flu-like symptoms, with no chest pain at all. In fact, nearly two-thirds of all women who die of heart attacks experience zero chest pain!

Worldwide, 8.6 million women die of heart disease every year. Don’t be a statistic. 

 

Stand up and take charge!

The American Heart Association encourages every woman to G.O. R.E.D. this February!

G: GET YOUR NUMBERS

Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol.

O: OWN YOUR LIFESTYLE

Stop smoking, lose weight, exercise, and eat healthy.

It’s up to you. No one can do it for you.

R: REALIZE YOUR RISK

We think it won’t happen to us, but heart disease kills one of three women.

E: EDUCATE YOUR FAMILY

Make healthy food choices for you and your family.

Teach your kids the importance of staying active.

D: DON’T BE SILENT

Tell every woman you know that heart disease is our No. 1 killer.Go red this February, and show that you’re standing up for yourself and your loved ones! But don’t just wear red; take steps to live a heart-healthier life.

 

So … what can I do?

Sometimes, small steps make all the difference. 

  • Schedule a heart screening with your healthcare provider. 
  • Pledge to get more exercise throughout the week.
  • Replace processed foods and sugary/salty snacks with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Encourage your friends and family to make heart-healthy changes, too!

 

What are common medical screenings for heart disease?

  • Common screenings for weight and blood pressure happen at regular checkups.
  • Fasting Lipoprotein Profile (cholesterol)
  • Blood glucose testing (Don’t forget, diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease.)

More detailed heart screening might include:

  • Electrocardiography (ECG or EKG)
  • Exercise cardiac stress test
  • Ultrasound, or stress echocardiography
  • And more.

 

How will your healthcare provider treat your heart disease?

Heart disease is treated in three steps, according to how serious your condition might be.

  1. Lifestyle changes: eating and sleeping better, cutting down on smoking and alcohol, and getting more exercise can all make a huge difference in the health of your heart!
  2. Medications: your doctor may prescribe medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, or other types of prescriptions.
  3. Surgery: some advanced cases of heart disease require heart surgery, or less invasive procedures. 

 

Let HealthStar Physicians Premier Medical care for your heart.

At HealthStar Physicians Premier Medical, we take a whole-body approach to health. We understand that your heart health depends on multiple factors, and we’ll help you do what it takes to monitor, treat and maintain your heart’s health. Make an appointment to get screened for heart disease today. It’s for your heart’s sake!

 

HealthStar Physicians Family Practice is now HealthStar Premier Medical!

We’re still Newport’s compassionate, experienced Osteopathic healthcare providers. We offer a wide range of care, including everything from DOT physicals, vaccines and weight loss management. Click here to learn more.

We’re accepting new patients, and we accept most forms of health insurance. Contact us to find out more.