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Heart Disease Is Affecting More Women And At Younger Ages
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Heart Disease is Affecting More Women And at Younger Ages

In honor of national Go Red for Women, the American Heart Association has kicked off a number of educational programs so that women understood their risk of heart disease. According to statistics, more women are falling victim to heart disease, many at younger ages than ever before. While there is a long list of risk factors that determine whether or not you will get heart disease, the good news is that there are many of them that are completely controllable, able to be reduced or even eliminated.

According to the American Heart Association, nearly eighty percent of all cardiac related events could have been prevented with only a few of those changes. Meant tohelp people, especially women, to reduce their risk factors, the AHA has added a number of online programs, including some geared toward healthier recipes and exercise plans. In addition, there are a number of tips for women including knowing key health statistics such as blood pressure and cholesterol as well as the symptoms that they should be watching for. A woman's heart attack symptoms are different from that of a man's. While a man may get the commonly accepted heart attack symptoms, a woman's symptoms can be more diffuse and difficult to describe. A woman is also more likely to put her symptoms off, not wanting to complain. That delay in treatment is part of the reason that her risk of dying from a heart attack is much higher than for a man.

Every year, over 700,000 people in America will have their first heart attack. Another 470,000 will have a second heart attack in that same year. While heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women, it affects different ethic groups at different rates. African American women are 33% more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease than a white woman while her stroke risk will be nearly eighty percent higher. The state with the highest rate of heart disease is Mississippi. It is not surprising that that is also the state with the highest obesity rate in the nation. Minnesota has the lowest heart attack risk.

Of all of the changeable risk factors for heart disease, inactivity is the worst, causing over fifty percent of heart related events. Obesity and high blood pressure are close, presenting 34 and 32% risks, respectively. Other risk factors, including smoking, high cholesterol and diabetes round out the top six.

Numbers released by the American Heart Association reveal that the cost of coronary heart disease can be staggering, accounting for over 108 billion dollars yearly in health care, medications, medical services and lost productivity due to illness.


Street Talk

Andrew B  

Amie, Great article. What I found most striking is the fact that about 8 in 10 heart failures could have been prevented with simple lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, and avoiding frequent tobacco use). Do you think these numbers will begin to fall once enough people realize what they need to do, or is 700K people/yr a number we're going to be stuck with for the foreseeable future?

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Until other numbers, like those for diabetes and obesity start dropping, I am afraid that others like those for heart disease will stay the same or continue to climb.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Andrew B  

It's tough. Humans spent most of the last 100-200k years barely getting enough food to survive, so they pigged out whenever they could, which wasn't very often. Nowadays, people have food coming out their ears, and many haven't developed that self control. I guess this is one area where nurture is going to have to overpower nature. What do you think?

  
  about 7 years ago

Women also tend to delay treatment because the symptoms are not the same as a man's.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
gregg2  

Unfortunately many women do not get treated in the emergency room because of old thinking that they are protected from heart disease by estrogen. So when they come in they are treated for other things.a nice article

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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