February is American Heart Month

Tuesday is the start of American Heart Month.

annual effort of American Heart Association It indicates a time to raise awareness of cardiovascular health, especially for women and communities of color.

The facts about women’s heart health are worrisome, but important to know:

  • Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women.
  • Women, especially black and Hispanic women, are disproportionately affected by heart disease and stroke.
  • Research shows that heart attacks are on the rise in younger women.
  • At least 48% – nearly half – of all adults in the United States have some form of cardiovascular disease.
  • Cardiovascular disease is not. 1 killer of new mothers.
  • Pregnancy-related deaths in the United States are increasing at an alarming rate – and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause.

“When it comes to cardiovascular disease, our behaviors and choices have the greatest impact on future risks,” Dr.. Srinivas Gudimilla, a cardiologist at Texas Health Fort Worth. “It’s a good idea to form good health habits early in life.”

This is important, he said, because another problem he sees in his patients is obesity, which leads to higher rates of type 2 diabetes in their 20s and 30s.

“This was almost unknown 40 or 50 years ago. This increases the risk of cardiovascular disease,” Gudimitla said. “When we are in our twenties, we have this attitude that makes us unbeatable. But the problem is that we don’t get the message very clearly that this is the time to start taking care of yourself. Don’t wait until you experience a midlife crisis in your forties and fifties.”

The data refer to younger generations of women, Generation Z and Millennials, are unlikely to be aware of the biggest threat to health, including the warning signs of heart attacks and strokes.

Oftentimes, Gudimetla said, patients who present him with a cardiac event are already in a very advanced stage of the disease process.

“Once you have cardiovascular disease, you can’t get rid of it. We can manage it with great procedures and medications etc. but we can’t cure it and it is important to know about it,” Gudimla said.

knowing your heart

Doctors hope that knowing the symptoms of a heart attack can save a life.

Symptoms can include:

  • Feeling of pain, pressure, pressure, or fullness in the chest
  • Pain in the jaw, neck, back or stomach
  • Vertigo
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • sweating

Symptoms can vary between women and men.

“This has been a historical challenge for many years because the death rate from cardiovascular disease in women is much higher than in men,” Gudemetla said. “This is a tricky part of diagnosing cardiovascular disease, symptoms can range in that full spectrum and so people can fall through the cracks as a result.”

Women don’t always see all of these classic symptoms. It may be just one or two shows or none at all.

“The challenge for women is that they don’t often have those classic symptoms. They can have some kind of unexplained shortness of breath. Other often-overlooked symptoms in women are tiredness and feeling tired.” Unfortunately, This is why so many heart attacks are missed because you can have a range of symptoms even silent heart attacks, and have no symptoms at all. This is more common among people with diabetes, for example, and it can range from that to symptoms severe enough that you feel you have to go get checked out right away.”

protection

Gudimetla offers some General practices people can start right now On their journey to a healthier heart:

  • Don’t smoke cigarettes
  • Follow a Mediterranean diet full of fruits, vegetables, and white meat.
  • Be physically active
  • Maintain a healthy weight

the American College of Cardiology He recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, which is about 30 minutes a day five days a week.

“What is defined as moderate intensity activity is – during the activity you feel like you are getting an exercise but you are able to complete a sentence during the activity without having to stop breathing,” Gudimetla said. “So we are not talking about distance running or marathon training. We are talking about aerobic exercise and brisk walking for example.”

According to the American Heart Association, 80% of cardiac events can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes such as increasing movement, eating smart, and managing blood pressure.

That’s why it’s important to know your numbers. Discuss the following personal health numbers with your doctor to help determine your heart disease risk:

  • total cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol (good)
  • blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • body mass index (BMI)

“The target BMI is between 18 to 24.9. Between 25 and 30 is considered overweight and above 30 is considered obese,” Gudimla said.

Knowing your family history is also essential. Talk to your doctor about heart disease and stroke if these conditions run in your family.

If you have a family history, take charge of your health. If you can check the box on any of the following factors, you are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease:

  • high blood pressure
  • smoking
  • High cholesterol in the blood
  • lack of regular activity
  • Obesity or overweight
  • diabetic

To show support for these issues and to encourage women to be aware of risk factors for heart problems, People are encouraged to wear red this Friday to celebrate National Wear Red Day.

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