Women’s Heart Health

Happy Galentine’s Day Ladies ❤

Today is also #WearRedDay, an event to raise awareness about women’s heart health.

Heart disease is on the rise and is a leading cause of death in women. “Heart disease is any condition that affects the structure or function of the heart” (Heart & Stroke). Heart disease can be separated into four categories: coronary artery and vascular diseases, heart rhythm disorders, structural heart disease and heart failure.

Coronary artery and vascular disease are caused by atherosclerosis which is a hardening of the arteries that reduces blood flow or causes blockages that can result in a heart attack or angina (chest pain). Heart rhythm disorders cause the heart to beat either too slowly, too quickly or in an irregular way that disrupts blood flow. Structural heart disease refers to defects in the heart valves, walls, muscles or blood vessels close to the heart. If these defects were present at birth, they’re known as congenital defects. Heart failure is a very serious condition and results when the heart is damaged or weakened (i.e., from a heart attack or high blood pressure).

The most common symptom of a heart attack is chest pain. However, this symptom is not always severe in women and sometimes not present at all, making it easier to be missed altogether. According to the Mayo Clinic, women are more likely to experience vague symptoms like:

  • Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or upper belly (abdomen) discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in one or both arms
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Heartburn (indigestion)

The risk factors for heart disease include: diabetes, emotional stress and depression, smoking, inactivity, menopause, pregnancy complications, family history and inflammatory diseases (Mayo Clinic), as well as, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and lifestyle factors (Heart & Stroke).

We can reduce our risks by:

  • Being active
  • Eating a variety of healthy foods
  • Managing stress
  • Avoiding smoking/vaping
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Getting regular check ups

For more information, check out Wear Red Day Canada.

How will you reduce your risks?

Let me know in the comments!

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