Do your heart good

Stock_Alone48_LrgVert_FAN2005940Fact: Cardiovascular disease kills more women than all cancers combined.

Fact: One in eight women aged 45 to 64 has heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women and
isn't something women should ignore since it is 80 percent 
preventable. There are simple lifestyle choices you can make
to help prevent the disease, including stopping smoking,
exercising frequently, changing your diet, and losing and
maintaining weight.

University of Minnesota Physicians Heart at Fairview also
offers a new online Heart Health Assessment to help you
learn if you have risk factors for developing heart disease (also called cardiovascular disease or CVD) in the next 10 years and which lifestyle factors you can address to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Protect your heart
To protect your heart, it’s important to make your heart health a priority and understand the risk factors of the disease.

  • Family history. If you have a parent who has or had heart disease, you’re more likely to be at risk.
  • High blood pressure. When you have high blood pressure (above 140/90), your heart has to work harder and your risk for heart disease increases.
  • High cholesterol. Your risk for heart disease increases when your blood cholesterol level goes up.
  • Obesity. Even when you don’t have other risk factors, being overweight or obese raises your risk of heart disease, particularly if you have fat around your midsection (stomach area).
  • Metabolic syndrome. Having a combination of three or more of these symptoms — a large waistline, insulin resistance, low levels of “good” cholesterol, and elevated triglyceride levels — raises the risk for heart disease.

Women's heart attack symptoms vary
Keep in mind that although the stereotypical portrayal of a heart attack is one with intense chest-clutching, desperate gasping for air followed by a person dropping motionless to the ground, not all heart attacks are like that, especially when it comes to heart disease in women.

Chest pain, including pressure, tightness or squeezing, happens in only 50 percent of women having a heart attack. Signs of a heart attack in women can also include fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, and pale or clammy skin. Women should also be aware that even if these symptoms come and go, they could still be signs of a heart attack.

Learn more
If you would like more information on heart health or to schedule an appointment, visit our website or call 612-365-5000. Take our Heart Health Assessment to find out the age of your heart.

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