According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for African American and white women in the United States. If you need another minute to digest that sentence, we understand. Most women are very aware of their risk for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, osteoporosis, and other conditions which affect women’s health. Yet, they are often taken aback to learn that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in America. Each year over 432,000 women in the United States die from cardiovascular disease, accounting for about 1 in every 5 female deaths.
What is most shocking by these numbers is that most women are completely unaware of the dangers of heart disease. Known as a “silent killer,” heart disease is often not diagnosed until significant symptoms or emergencies are experienced, including:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Pain in the neck, jaw, or throat
- Pain in the upper abdomen or back
With heart disease being such a significant threat to women’s health, it is crucial that you take steps to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The first thing that you need to do is have an annual physical with your doctor. At a physical, your doctor will check your blood pressure and run lab work to check your cholesterol levels and test for diabetes.
It is also necessary to make healthy lifestyle and dietary choices to promote healthy weight and vitality. Many patients can decrease their risks for heart disease by losing weight and implementing a healthy diet. Choosing whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products while also limiting sugars and fats can go a long way in naturally healing your body. For those who have a significant struggle with their weight or other issues, blood pressure and cholesterol medications can help keep their numbers within healthy ranges.
Visit your doctor today to schedule a physical and get more information on how you can decrease your risk for heart disease.