A woman’s heart is special

by Nurse Rose Melendez | WGTS 91.9 FM

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’re all thinking about the ones who make our hearts flutter – but you might not be thinking about your heart health. In fact, women in-particular tend to put-off hearth health. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, shares why women need to keep tabs on their heart health.

How common is heart disease in women?

Nurse Rose: Women often think of heart disease as mostly affecting older men, but heart disease affects women at startlingly high rates. In fact:

  • Heart disease is the number one killer of women and causes 1 in 3 deaths every year.
  • 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

What are the risk-factors of heart disease for women?

Nurse Rose: Men and women share many of the same risk-factors for heart disease like smoking, high cholesterol and blood pressure, lack of exercise, type 2 diabetes, family history and obesity.

However, women can have some unique risk-factors for heart disease.

  • Pregnancy related conditions like pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension,
  • Birth control use with a history of smoking and
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

How can women keep their hearts healthy?

Nurse Rose: The best way for women to stay heart-healthy is to follow these tips.

  • Exercise regularly – at least three to five days per week
  • Eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat, sugar and sodium and high in vegetables, whole-grains and lean protein
  • Manage stress through exercise, prayer, a hobby or talking with a healthcare provider or clergy member.
Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

Take our free online Heart Risk Assessment during Heart Month this February for a chance to win a D.C. getaway.