The number one killer of women in the Western world is heart diseases. Dr. Tracey Stevens of St. Lukes, says while women are becoming more aware of their risks, action still needs to be taken. The cardiologist says most people associate heart attack and stroke with cardiovascular diseases, and that’s because most research on heart disease is focused on white middle age men. For women there other issues to consider. Women who have high blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy are at a higher risk of developing a heart condition. Women also have a tenancy of having coronary arteries spontaneously tearing. Dr. Stevens also notes it’s not a old women’s disease either, with CDV being the leading cause of death in women over 35.
While women of all ages are at risk of heart disease your risk increase after menopause. A condition of particular concern is the stiffening of the heart muscle which can cause shortness of breath, swelling and an abnormal heart rhythm. Exercise, and proper management of blood pressure can help improve your condition.
The best treatment is prevention and health habits need to start early. Dr. Stevens stays women need to eat healthy, stay active, maintain ideal body weight, avoid smoking, limit alcohol, and avoid prolonged sitting. According to Dr. Stevens “sitting is the new smoking.” Dr. Stevens final piece of advice is for women to take ownership of their blood pressure, meaning the keep track of where it stands and take action to keep it at a healthy level.