QUESTION: WHAT IS THE NUMBER 1 KILLER OF WOMEN?
ANSWER: HEART DISEASE
I never really give much thought to the health of my heart. That's the truth. I am a healthy diabetic and have never had any issue with my heart, thank goodness.
However, February is the time of year for the American Heart Association's GO RED campaign and I have been doing some research about it for this blog entry. That's when I learned that heart disease is the number one killer of women. This fact made me pause and think. It made me want to learn more - and concerned me a little. I assumed cancer was number one.
A more sobering fact is that heart disease causes 1 in 3 deaths each year. Are you as surprised by this as I am? Maybe I'm ignorant - it seems like we only pay attention to the things in our own lives and since I have not had to deal with anything "heart" related, I don't think about it.
So what are the causes and risk factors?
Well first of all, heart disease affects women of all ages - you could be as young as 15 and have heart disease and for younger women, the combination of birth control pills and smoking boosts heart disease risks by 20 percent. Things like overeating and not being active can cause plaque to accumulate and lead to clogged arteries later in life. Even if you lead a healthy lifestyle, you could have been born with an underlying heart condition and that can be a risk factor as well.
Here's another scary fact: 64% of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. WOW, sit up and take notice ladies. Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. Other symptoms women should look out for are dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen and extreme fatigue. Look, the point is, if you experience this stuff - don't do what we women do and write it off and move on - talk to your doc.
Check out the American Heart Association's website and educate yourself about this. After all, what is more important than your life?
If you haven't done so already - wear RED to show your support this month!
Check back next week for the final February blog post!
It's me, just trying to get by.