Cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease, is the leading cause of death in the United States. It affects nearly 84 million Americans and claims one life every 40 seconds; that’s more than 2,150 Americans every day. (heart.org). Cardiovascular disease is a term used to describe diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
Though often thought of as a man’s disease, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease (goredforwomen.org).
Can You Answer These Questions?
1. Heart Disease kills 1 in ______ women every year, while breast cancer kills 1 in ________ women every year.
A. 31, 3
B. 3, 31
C. 5, 15
D. 15, 5
2. Only __________ in ___________ American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
A. 1 in 5
B. 1 in 10
C. 1 in 3
D. 1 in 15
A Few Facts You Should Know
Answers: Question #1 is B; Question #2 is A.
While 1 in 31 American women die from breast cancer, 1 in 3 die from heart disease.
Despite this statistic, only 1 in 5 women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
There are many misconceptions about women and heart disease, even among the helping professionals. Studies show that women underestimate their risk for heart disease and overestimate their risk for breast and other cancers.
What Are Some of The More Common Types of Cardiovascular Disease?
Coronary Artery Disease/Coronary Heart Disease
Heart attack and stroke
Abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure
What Puts You at Risk for Heart Disease?
1. Smoking - Smoking starves your heart and body of oxygen. Smoking is responsible for 443,000 premature deaths each year, with about one-third of those deaths linked to heart disease.
2. Genetics - Heart disease may be hereditary, but it is preventable through healthy lifestyle choices.
3. High Blood Pressure - High blood pressure is often referred to as the silent killer because often there are no symptoms. High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack and stroke, but it can be controlled through proper diet, weight management, and physical activity.
4. Lack of Exercise - Physical activity makes the heart and lungs stronger and helps prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.
5. High Cholesterol - Cholesterol too is often hereditary, but can be controlled through proper diet and exercise.
6. Age - The prevalence of cardiovascular disease rises with age.
What Can You Do?
Choose a healthy diet.
Manage your weight. Stop smoking.
Keep alcohol use moderate.
Get blood pressure and cholesterol checks regularly.
A few other facts:
"Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood each day."
"Your heart beats about 4,000 times each hour, 100,000 times each day, and 35 million times in a year. That’s more than 2.5 billion heartbeats in the average lifetime."
"If all the blood vessels in the body were lined up end to end, they would stretch about 60,000 miles!"
Have a heart healthy day!