February 1st marks the start of American Heart Month. Preventing heart disease and leading a heart-healthy life is something I feel very strongly about. During the month of February most of my posts will revolve around heart-health. Don’t worry…I’m sure a cookie recipe will also make its way into the mix!
The heart disease statistics for women are not good. Heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women (Source).
More startling statistics:
1. Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen.
2. Women wait longer than men to go to an emergency room when having a heart attack and physicians are slower to recognize the presence of heart attacks in women because “characteristic” patterns of chest pain and EKG changes are less frequently present.
3. 8 million women in the US are currently living with heart disease; 35,000 are under age of 65.
4. 71% of women experience early warning signs of heart attack with sudden onset of extreme weakness that feels like the flu – often with no chest pain at all. Medical professionals are challenged to respond to women’s milder symptoms, acting with insufficient guidelines.
5. Women are twice as likely as men to die within the first few weeks after suffering a heart attack. (Source)
Scary, right? So what can you do? Well, lots. But let’s start with a few resources:
The American Heart Association has wonderful online resources outlining Heart Healthy at Any Age. Advice and tips for taking care of your heart in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s+. There are prevention tips, nutrition guidelines, tips on staying active, and advice on maintaining a healthy weight.
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute is the organization behind the annual Red Dress Collection Fashion Show where celebs get to strut their stuff in fancy red dresses.
Not walking the cat-walk anytime soon? Well, you can pledge to live heart healthy in 2012 and add a badge to your website or blog.
And how about showing your support of women’s heart health by wearing red on Friday, February 3rd–National Wear Red Day. Work it girls (and guys)!
Question: What are you doing to take care of your heart?