February marks National Heart Health Month and there are some important facts to know.
More fatal then all the different types of cancer combined, heart disease effects more women than men, surprising to most. While one in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, heart disease is the cause of one out of every three deaths. And it effects women of all ages too, according to the American Heart Association.
For those younger, smoking cigarettes and taking birth control ups the risk of heart disease by 20 percent. Of course with age our risk automatically goes up, but not taking care of ourselves physically and over indulging can lead to clogged arteries later in life. Being born with an underlying heart condition also puts those at a high risk for the disease.
Just because you may show no symptoms, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Sixty-four percent of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. Because these symptoms vary greatly between male and female, they’re often misinterpreted. Television and movies have us believing that the revealing sign of a heart attack is extreme chest pain. But in reality, women are somewhat more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Other signs women should look out for include dizziness, lightheadedness, or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen and extreme fatigue.
Good news-a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent heart disease from happening. Below is a list of tips to help keep you on track.