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Did you know heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, killing more women every year than cancer, chronic lung disease, accidents and Alzheimer's disease combined? Although these facts can seem scary, there is also good news. Even modest changes in nutrition and lifestyle can lower your risk of a cardiac event by as much as 80 percent.
Know your numbers
There are known risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and elevated blood glucose levels. Weight and body mass index (BMI) also play a part in your personal risk. The first step in preventing heart disease is finding out your numbers so that you can determine where you can make improvements. Keeping these numbers within a healthy range can improve your heart health and reduce your risk for heart disease.
Know your risk factors
Because heart disease has historically been considered a “man’s disease,” many women lack an awareness of their potential risk. Ninety percent of women have at least one risk factor for heart disease. Preventing or reducing the chances of heart disease is something you're never too young to think about. A risk-assessment for heart disease is an important first step towards understanding your risk and maintaining good heart health. Take five minutes to understand your own risk of heart conditions with our online assessment.
Know the symptoms
When many of us think of a heart attack, we envision a man experiencing crushing chest pain. Yet, symptoms in women can be more subtle. Often, women complain of neck, jaw, shoulder or arm pain, nausea, lightheadedness or extreme fatigue. In other words, the symptoms can be confusing or overlooked. Because of this, women tend to show up in emergency rooms later than men, after heart damage has already occurred.
Without a doubt, the best defense against heart disease is to be empowered. By taking charge of your health and being knowledgeable about risks and symptoms, you can successfully battle against the leading killer of women. Get heart smart today!