Every February women all over the country pull out their red scarves, shoes, sweaters and dresses and don them for Go Red for Women and to call attention to heart disease. And while you may know a little something about heart disease already, we bet there are a few facts you didn’t know. Here’s our list of the top five reasons why this disease deserves the entire month of February for awareness.
- It’s the No. 1 killer of women: Breast cancer may get more attention, but far more women die each year of heart disease than breast cancer. And the numbers are somewhat staggering. One in 31 women will die of breast cancer while the American Heart Association says that one in three women will die of heart disease. And while women tend to have better outcomes than men where most diseases are concerned, more women die from heart disease then men.
- Heart attacks are happening to young women in greater numbers: A recent study tracked over a million women for 12 years and found that women were suffering from heart attacks at a younger age.
- Some symptoms are nothing like you would expect: For younger women, heart attack symptoms can mean a shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, and even back or jaw pain. These symptoms are nothing like the normal chest clutching pain we attribute to heart attacks.
- And sometimes there are no symptoms: It’s common that women don’t experience even the most subtle of symptoms. In fact, most women who die of coronary heart disease didn’t have any symptoms at all.
- Most women have at least one risk factor: High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and family history contribute to your risk of developing heart disease. But, the good news is that even the smallest of changes to your diet and lifestyle can have a significant positive impact and lower your risk.
For more on heart health, visit BestHeartCare.com and the American Heart Association. If you have risk factors like the ones listed above, please visit your doctor for an annual exam. If you need help finding a doctor, we can help there, too. Check out our find a doctor page or call 317-338-4Her.