The Heart Truth
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Though heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the United States, every person—no matter their age, sex, or family history—can take steps to protect their heart. An overwhelming 80% of all women between the ages of 40-60 have at least one risk factor for heart disease. According to research compiled by the NHLBI (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute), having just one risk factor doubles your chance of developing heart disease. To protect your heart it is vital that you address each of your risk factors individually ~ speak with your doctor ~ find out your risk and develop a personalized plan.
Heat disease develops gradually and begins to rise in women around the age of 40. It’s important to be aware of your risk factors which include lifestyle related diseases. Poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, overuse of alcohol, poor diet, lack of physical activity and inadequate relief of chronic stress are key contributors in the development and progression of preventable chronic diseases, including:
- Physical inactivity
- High blood pressure
According to NHLBI (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute)
- Among U.S. women ages 18 and older, 17 % are current smokers
- Among women ages 20 and older, 64 % are overweight (BMI of 25 or greater)
- 27 % have hypertension
- 45 % have high cholesterol
- African American and Hispanic women, in particular, have higher rates of some risk factors for heart disease and are disproportionately affected by the disease compared to white women.
- More than 80 % of midlife African American women are overweight or obese
- 53 percent have hypertension,
- 11 % have been diagnosed with diabetes
- 80 % of Hispanic women ages 20 and older are overweight or obese
- 15 % have been diagnosed with diabetes
Heart disease in women is disproportionately higher among women of color. African American and Hispanic women have higher rates of the major risk factors. “The Heart Truth” starts with you, speak with your doctor, find out your risk factors and take action. It’s never too late to focus on prevention and controlling your risk factors, you will improve the quality of your life in doing so.
Heart disease is preventable—by making healthy lifestyle changes and taking steps to manage risk factors, women can reduce their risk for heart disease.