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It's important for everyone to know where they stand in terms of heart health.?According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 600,000 people in the U.S. die each year of heart disease, which equals about one out of every four deaths. This is one reason?why everyone should receive regular lab tests to make sure that they are in?good cardiovascular health.
According to a recent article by Jennifer Ashton, M.D., for ABC News, women, in particular, should be taking special care to make sure their hearts are in tip-top shape, since they may not notice something is wrong until it is too late. The doctor explained that only one out of every three women surveyed believe that they should be concerned about the health of their heart. However, since cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in women, they should all be focused on keeping their tickers in good shape.?
Many miss the signs?
According to Ashton, many women miss the common signs of heart disease. This isn't surprising, since many of the signs can be subtle and women may mistake them for symptoms of a less serious condition. This is why women need to educate themselves on what the beginning of a heart problem looks like so they can tackle it before it is too late.?
For example, chest pain and tightness are the most common symptoms of heart attack in both men and women. However, the genders tend to experience different types of chest pain. While men tend to report a sensation similar to "an elephant crushing their chest," women often say that they simply feel a dull, uncomfortable pain. This is a problem, since women may write this type of pain off as something that is no big deal, and many simply take an aspirin when they experience it. Ashton states that as a rule of thumb, any chest pain that is bad enough to warrant taking an aspirin should also be considered worthy of a call to 911.?
Other signs of heart disease that many women commonly miss are flu-like symptoms such as?fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness and difficulty sleeping. While these may often simply be the signs of the flu, women with a history of heart problems should go to the doctor if they experience these problems to make sure that they are not in the early stages of heart failure.?
Protect the heart?
Along with learning the signs of cardiovascular disease, it's important for women to do everything they can to keep their hearts?healthy. For example, the Mayo Clinic recommends that women who smoke or use tobacco should quit as soon as possible if they want to keep from further damaging their heart. Furthermore, it's important to exercise regularly to help strengthen the heart. However, women should always talk to their doctors?before beginning an exercise regimen. ?
Finally, women should also regularly get cholesterol tests to make sure that they have healthy blood lipid?levels.?According to the American Heart Association,?one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke are cholesterol levels. ?Many women may think that as long as they eat a healthy diet they are not at risk of having high cholesterol, but if this issue runs in their family,?it's an important factor to keep tabs on.?
Remember, knowledge is power, so the more women learn about the risks of heart disease, the better they will be able to protect themselves.?
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