Every minute in America, a woman dies of a heart attack, stroke or another form of cardiovascular disease (CVD) — and one out of every three women experiences some form of CVD in her lifetime. And yet, most of those cases are preventable if you lead a heart-healthy lifestyle.
“We are all at risk for developing cardiovascular disease; it is the number one killer of women – and men. The key to reducing cardiovascular disease is through risk factor modification, early screening and community awareness of early warning signs,” says nurse practitioner at Eisenhower Medical Center and American Heart Association volunteer Cari Sudmeier, RN, MSN, FNP-C.
Key health indicators. Some risk factors for cardiovascular disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, body weight/body mass index and high blood glucose. Testing should occur as follows:
- Blood pressure – every regular health care visit starting at age 20
- Cholesterol – every five years starting at age 20. More often if: total cholesterol is above 200; if you are older than 50; if your HDL is less than 50; or, if you have other cardiovascular risk factors
- Weight/body mass index – every health care visit starting at age 20
- Waist circumference – as needed starting at age 20
- Blood glucose – every three years starting at age 45
Family history. If you know you have a family history of heart disease, it’s important to share that information with your doctor. This will help cue your physician into your genetics, making him or her more aware of additional risk factors.
Health habits. Do you smoke? Are you physically inactive? Do you eat a diet high in fat? The answers could also impact your risk. Talk to your doctor so he or she has a better idea of your lifestyle, how to improve your health and to determine whether or not you need to be screened.
Join the movement and Go Red, Coachella Valley!
- Get Your Numbers: Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Own Your Lifestyle: Stop smoking, lose weight, exercise and eat healthy.
- Realize Your Risk: We think it won’t happen to us, but heart disease kills 1 in 3 women.
- Educate Your Family: Make healthy food choices for you and your family.
- Don’t be silent: Tell every woman you know that heart disease is our #1 killer.
Learn more about your numbers and key health indicators by visiting GoRedForWomen.org and join the Go Red Luncheon Friday, Feb. 13 at Renaissance Indian Wells for physician and survivor lectures, educational session, health expo and heart healthy lunch. CVGoRedLuncheon.heart.org (760) 346.8109.