Know the Facts – Women and Heart Health


The American Heart Association (AHA) states that cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke account for 37 percent of female deaths each year in the U.S. Heart disease is especially dangerous for women, even more so than men. Below are statistics on the health of a woman’s heart and the main reasons why it’s so important to take care and watch for signs:
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  • Forty-two percent of women who have heart attacks die within one year, compared to 24% of men;
  • Two-hundred sixty-seven thousand women die each year from heart attacks, which is six times as many deaths as breast cancer causes each year;
  • In addition to the 267,000 deaths from heart attacks, another 31,837 women die each year of congestive heart failure; and
  • Nearly two-thirds of women who die from heart attacks had no history of chest pain.
Although these statistics sound scary, they also say that women’s hearts respond better to lifestyle changes, than do the hearts of men. This is good news because there are things that women can do each day to help prevent their risk of heart attack, disability, and death.
According to health officials, there are lifestyle changes that women (and men too) can make to reduce their risks of cardiovascular disease. Although you cannot eliminate heart disease entirely, these lifestyle changes can greatly increase your health and reduce your risks of heart attack, stroke, or death. They advocate getting your body in shape with physical activity, eating healthier, and lowering your disk of diabetes and obesity. Although there are other risks for heart disease, including heredity and smoking, making better food choices and working exercise into your lifestyle can greatly reduce your risks and improve your health.
Here are some tips:
  1. Increase your chance of success by starting slow and focusing on one thing at a time. Trying to lose weight and eat right and stop smoking all at the same time can actually lead to a failure to successfully make lifestyle changes. Choose one thing to focus on at a time so you can experience success. For example, if you are focusing on diet, and want to eat more whole grains, it may be too drastic to replace all your white grains at one time with whole grains. Just choose one – maybe your favorite cereal. See if a whole grain version is available (or if another company has a similar whole grain product). Once you can make that one change, then the other changes will come more easily. As you experience successive successes, you will be more encouraged to make additional changes.
  2. When it comes to exercise, it is known that you are supposed to exercise a certain number of minutes per day, but what if you can’t keep up with that? Well, don’t give up and don’t feel like you are a failure! Start slow. If you can’t do 30 minutes once a day, maybe begin by doing 10 minutes two or three times a day. Even something small like “playing” a few minutes on Wii Fit will be a start in the right direction. Starting small allows your successes to build, again, encouraging you to want to try for more.
As you make the small lifestyle changes, and your self-esteem increases, you will find yourself making more changes – and being successful at them! One change at a time is all it takes to get you started. Just think: each small thing that you can do helps you to be that much healthier, reducing your risks for heart disease. After some time, the lifestyle changes that you make will become like second nature and the food choices and exercise will be a regular part of your life. Keep your eyes and your mind focused on the future – a future with a healthy you – that includes you being there with the ones you love.
For more information about ways that you can stay healthy and help prevent disease, visit Cancer Insurance Info At Cancer Insurance Info, you can find information and tips for reducing your risks of cancer, as well as find out how purchasing cancer insurance can pay for itself – by paying you to keep your regular cancer screenings, cholesterol checks and regular physicals – it’s true a cancer plan with Allstate will pay for regular physicals too! Visit us online or call 866-614-3400 for more information on supplemental health plans.
American Heart Association

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