Women and Heart Disease

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF HEART DISEASE?

Heart disease affects the blood vessels and cardiovascular system. Numerous problems can result from this, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis, a condition that develops when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.

 

WHAT ARE OTHER CAUSES OF HEART DISEASE?

Heart failure or congestive heart failure, which means that the heart is still working, but it isn’t pumping blood as well as it should, or getting enough oxygen.
 
Arrhythmia or an abnormal rhythm of the heart, which means the heart is either beating too fast, too slow or irregularly. This can affect how well the heart is functioning and whether or not the heart is able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
 
Heart valve problems can lead to the heart not opening enough to allow proper blood flow. Sometimes the heart valves don’t close and blood leaks through, or the valve leaflets bulge or prolapse into the upper chamber, causing blood to flow backward through them.
 
WHAT ARE RISK FACTORS FOR HEART DISEASE?
 
Some risk factors you can treat, manage or control with the help of your healthcare provider.
Those you can’t change, like your Family History, are still important when assessing your risk for Heart Disease and Stroke.
 
MODIFIABLE RISK FACTORS INCLUDE:
 
| High blood pressure
 
| Smoking
 
| High blood cholesterol
 
| Lack of regular activity
 
| Obesity or overweight
 
| Diabetes
 
NON-MODIFIABLE RISK FACTORS INCLUDE:
 
| Age
 
| Gender
 
| Heredity (family health history)
 
| Race/ETHNICITY
 
| Previous stroke or heart attack
 
WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF HEART DISEASE?
 
CHEST PAIN OR TIGHTNESS RADIATING TO LEFT ARM
 
SHORTNESS OF BREATH
 
UNUSUAL BACK PAIN-LOWER OR UPPER
 
JAW PAIN
 
NAUSEA/GERD SYMPTOMS/FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS
 
WHAT ARE WAYS OF PREVENTING HEART DISEASE?
 
HEALTHY EATING HABITS
 
REGULAR EXERCISE
 
SMOKING CESSATION
 
DEVELOPMENT OF GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE
 
REDUCTION OF STRESSORS SLEEP HYGIENE AND HEART DISEASE
 
TRY TO ACHIEVE BETWEEN 6-8HRS OF REST/NIGHT.
 
LACK OF SLEEP IS LINKED TO HYPERTENSION/HEART DISEASE
 
LACK OF SLEEP SLOWS THE METABOLISM WHICH HINDERS WEIGHT LOSS.
 
WHEN WE DON’T GET OUR REST WE ARE LESS LIKELY TO EXERCISE.
 
EXERCISE AND HEART HEALTH
 
AHA recommends the following amounts of physical activity to maintain cardiovascular
health:
 
For Overall Cardiovascular Health
 
At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes.
 
OR
 
At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.
 
AND
 
Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.
 

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