September 29, 2013 is World Heart Day. It’s all about taking a better life-course approach which includes incorporating preventive measures and taking better control of cardiovascular disease. This movement is particularly geared toward women and children. Why so?
In regards to women, Womenshealth.gov states that in the U.S. alone, one in four women die of heart disease every year. While heart disease is a leading cause of death among men, women are more likely to die from an attack. Among minorities, heart disease is particularly a concern – more African American and Latin American women are obese, do not get enough exercise, suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes. But not to worry, most of all these symptoms are preventable and workable. World Heart Day teaches us that with small steps and changes anything is possible!
We all know the common steps to prevention and control of heart disease but what about the other questions that may arise? For instance, do birth control pills or birth control patches increase the risk of heart disease? For most young, healthy women – neither option poses a risk. But if you are over 35, have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or smoke, you are at risk. The best thing to do is talk to your doctor about your options to take for a healthier you.
And lastly, always remember if you begin to experience the following symptoms, seek medical help as soon as possible:
- Pain or discomfort in the center of the chest. The pain or discomfort can be mild or strong. It can last more than a few minutes, or it can go away and come back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
- Shortness of breath (feeling like you can’t get enough air). The shortness of breath often occurs before or along with the chest pain or discomfort.
- Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) or vomiting
- Feeling faint or woozy
- Breaking out in a cold sweat