Prevent heart disease in women By: Rachel Betz Rowan University Technology & Assessment The # 1 killer of American women
Heart Disease in Women • Number one killer of women in the United States • It is the leading cause of disability in women • Heart disease is preventable • Develops slowly over time • The older a women gets, the more likely she is to get heart disease.
What is Heart Disease? • It is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to a heart attack. • A heart attack happens when an artery becomes blocked, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. • It is important to realize that heart disease is a lifelong condition—once you get it, you’ll always have it. • The condition of your blood vessels will steadily worsen unless you make changes in your daily habits.
Coronary Heart Disease • Plaque builds up on the walls of the coronary arteries. • Plaque is made of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. • Plaque can affect the heart in two ways: • Narrow arteries over time, which reduces blood flow and will cause chest pain and discomfort. • Plaque can also rupture or crack causing a blood clot on the surface of the plaque. The blood clot will prevent blood flow through the artery. Coronary Artery
Types of Heart Disease • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) • Most Common • Leading cause of heart attacks • Arteries become hard and narrow • Blood has a hard time getting to the heart, so the heart does not get all the blood it needs. CAD can lead to: Angina (an-JEYE-nuh)-Angina is chest pain or discomfort that happens when the heart does not get enough blood. It may feel like a pressing or squeezing pain, often in the chest, but sometimes the pain is in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. It can also feel like indigestion (upset stomach). Angina is not a heart attack, but having angina means you are more likely to have a heart attack Heart attack- A heart attack occurs when an artery is severely or completely blocked, and the heart does not get the blood it needs for more than 20 minutes.
Types of Heart Disease Continued • Heart failure occurs when the heart is not able to pump blood through the body as well as it should. This means that other organs, which normally get blood from the heart, do not get enough blood. It does not mean that the heart stops. Signs of heart failure include: • Shortness of breath (feeling like you can't get enough air) • Swelling in feet, ankles, and legs • Extreme tiredness • If you have flutters and other symptoms such as dizziness or shortness of breath, call 911 right away!!
Why do women need to worry about heart disease? • One in four women die of heart disease in the United States each year. • In 2004, nearly 60 percent more women died of cardiovascular disease (both heart disease and stroke) than from all cancers combined. • The older a woman gets, the more likely she is to get heart disease. But women of all ages should be concerned about heart disease. • Both men and women have heart attacks, but women who have heart attacks die are less likely to survive.
Do women of color need to worry about heart disease? • YES! • African American and Hispanic American/Latina women should be concerned about getting heart disease because they tend to have more risk factors than white women. • Risk Factors Include: • Obesity • Lack of physical activity • High blood pressure • Diabetes
Signs of heart disease in women • The most important sign is feeling really tired--even if after enough sleep. Other signs of heart disease in women are: • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath • Trouble sleeping • Feeling sick to your stomach • Feeling scared or nervous • New or worse headaches • Aching in the chest • Heaviness or tightness in the chest • Burning feeling in the chest • Pain between the shoulder blades • Pain or tightness in the chest that spreads to the jaw, neck, shoulders, ear, or the inside of the arms • Pain in the belly, above the belly button Go to your doctor or clinic if you have any warning signs!!
Prevention • Know your blood pressure • People with high blood pressure often have no symptoms, so have your blood pressure checked every 1 to 2 years and get treatment if you need it. • Do NOT smoke. • Get tested for diabetes • People with diabetes have high blood sugar, which hides the signs of heart disease. • Raises chances of having heart disease. • Test Cholesterol • High blood cholesterol can clog your arteries and keep your heart from getting the blood it needs. This can cause a heart attack. • Maintain a healthy weight • Limit alcohol to no more than one drink GET TESTED!
High Blood Pressure & Heart Disease • Blood pressure is the force your blood makes against the walls of your arteries. • Pressure is highest when the heart pumps blood into the arteries. • 110/70 is normal • Blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is considered pre hypertension. • Going unnoticed, you will begin to develop plaque in the arties. • High blood pressure or hypertension is 140/90 or higher • Years of high blood pressure will cause the artery walls to become stiff and narrow. • This will prevent blood flow to the heart which will cause a heart attack.
High Cholesterol & Heart Disease • Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in cells in all parts of the body. • When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, cholesterol can build up on the walls of your arteries and cause blood clots. • Cholesterol can clog your arteries and keep your heart from getting the blood it needs. This can cause a heart attack. • There are two types of cholesterol: • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is often called the "bad" type of cholesterol because it can clog the arteries that carry blood to your heart. For LDL, lower numbers are better. • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as "good" cholesterol because it takes the bad cholesterol out of your blood and keeps it from building up in your arteries. For HDL, higher numbers are better.
What do cholesterol and triglyceride numbers mean? Total cholesterol level - Lower is better. Less than 200 mg/dL is best. LDL (bad) cholesterol - Lower is better. Less than 100 mg/dL is best. All women age 20 and older should have their blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked at least once every 5 years.
Lowering Cholesterol • Maintain a healthy body weight • Eat Better • Low in saturated fats • Low in trans fats • Low cholesterol • Eat more: • Fish, poultry and lean meats. Boil, bake, roast or poach foods. Remove fat and skin before eating • Skim milk or 1% milk and cheeses • Fruits and Vegetables • Cereals, breads and rice made from whole grains. • Eat less: • Organ meats such as liver and kidneys. • Egg yolks • Fats such as butter and oil • Packaged and processed foods Get moving. Exercise can help lower LDL ("bad cholesterol") and raise HDL ("good cholesterol"). Exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week, or get 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity each week.
Should I take a daily aspirin to prevent heart attack? • Aspirin may be helpful for women at high risk, such as women who have already had a heart attack. • Aspirin can have serious side effects and may be harmful when mixed with certain medicines. • If you're thinking about taking aspirin, talk to your doctor first. If your doctor thinks aspirin is a good choice for you, be sure to take it exactly as your doctor tells you to.
Does taking birth control pills increase the risk for heart disease? • Taking birth control pills is generally safe for young, healthy women if they do not smoke. • But birth control pills can pose heart disease risks for some women, especially women older than 35; women with high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol; and women who smoke • If you're taking birth control pills, watch for signs of trouble, including: • Eye problems such as blurred or double vision • Pain in the upper body or arm • Bad headaches • Problems breathing • Spitting up blood • Swelling or pain in the leg • Yellowing of the skin or eyes • Breast lumps
Does menopausal hormone therapy increase a woman's risk for heart disease? • Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) can help with some symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and bone loss, but there are risks, too. • For some women, taking hormones can increase their chances of having a heart attack or stroke • If you decide to use hormones, use them at the lowest dose that helps for the shortest time needed.
Overview • Women tend to develop coronary heart disease (CHD) about 10 years later than men. However, CHD remains the #1 killer of women in the United States. • Women are more likely to die following a heart attack than men. This is in part due to being older and having other significant health problems at the time a heart attack occurs. • Remember to always keep an eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. • The good news is that you can take steps to control many CHD risk factors. Risk factors are conditions or habits that raise your risk of CHD and heart attack. Uncontrolled risk factors also can increase the chance that existing CHD will worsen. • Lifestyle changes, medicines, and/or medical or surgical procedures can help women reduce their risk of CHD. That's why early and ongoing CHD prevention is so important. Call 911 right away with any symptoms!!
For more information on Heart Disease • WomenHeartPhone Number(s): (202) 728-7199Internet Address: http://www.womenheart.org • American Heart AssociationPhone Number(s): (800) 242-8721Internet Address: http://www.americanheart.org • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)Phone Number(s): (301) 592-8573Internet Address: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/index.htm • National Cholesterol Education ProgramNational Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)Internet Address: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/ncep • National High Blood Pressure Education ProgramNational Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)Internet Address: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/nhbpep/index.htm