A woman’s heart is special
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 meditation/mindfulness, exercise, prayer, a hobby or talking with a healthcare provider or clergy member.