Despite increases in awareness over the past decades, only about half (56%) of women recognize that heart disease is their number 1 killer, or take action to learn more about it or prevent it. Many women tend to put everyone else first in their lives and ignore signs of heart disease. Most women are good about going in for their regular breast exam or pap smear, but more die from heart disease than all the cancers combined. It is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 299,578 women in 2017—or about one in every five female deaths. (The total for men and women who have died from heart disease each year, as of 2020, is about 655,000 Americans—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.)
Actions to Lower Risk
Million Hearts – national initiative
Wise Women Health program
Boulder Community Health “Talk”
What are the symptoms of heart disease?
Although some women have no symptoms, others may have:
Angina (dull and heavy or sharp chest pain or discomfort)
Pain in the neck, jaw, or throat
Pain in the upper abdomen or back
These symptoms may happen when you are resting or when you are doing regular daily activities. Women also may have other symptoms, including:
Sometimes heart disease may be “silent” and not diagnosed until you have other symptoms or emergencies, including:
==Heart attack:= Chest pain or discomfort, upper back or neck pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea or vomiting, extreme fatigue, upper body discomfort, dizziness, and shortness of breath
==Arrhythmia: Fluttering feelings in the chest (palpitations)
==Heart failure: Shortness of breath, fatigue, or swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins
If you have any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away.
What are the risk factors for heart disease?
High blood pressure, high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of all people in the United States (47%) have at least one of these three risk factors.
Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:
==Having overweight or obesity
==Eating an unhealthy diet
==Drinking too much alcohol
How can I reduce my risk of heart disease?
To lower your chances of getting heart disease, it’s important to do the following:
==Know your blood pressure. Having uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart disease. High blood pressure has no symptoms, so it’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Learn more about high blood pressure.
==Talk to your doctor or health care team about whether you should be tested for diabetes. Having uncontrolled diabetes raises your risk of heart disease.8 Learn more about diabetes.
==Quit smoking. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, learn ways to quit.
==Discuss checking your blood cholesterol and triglycerides with your doctor. Learn more about cholesterol.
==Make healthy food choice. Having overweight or obesity raises your risk of heart disease. Learn more about overweight and obesity.
==Limit how much alcohol you drink to one drink a day. Learn more about alcohol.
==Manage stress levels by finding healthy ways to cope with stress. Learn more about coping with stress.
…Information obtained from US Department of Health &Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDD)…
See Also American Heart Association.
Million Hearts® 2022
Million Hearts® 2022 is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes within 5 years. It focuses on implementing a small set of evidence-based priorities and targets that can improve cardiovascular health for all. See this page for tools to help improve your heart health.
Wise Women Health
The WISEWOMAN (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation) program was created to help women understand and reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke by providing services to promote lasting heart-healthy lifestyles. Working with low-income, uninsured and underinsured women aged 40 to 64 years, the program provides heart disease and stroke risk factor screenings and services that promote healthy behaviors. The WISEWOMAN program currently is administered through CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP).
BOULDER COMMUNITY HEALTH – HEART DISCUSSION (online)
Nearly 6 million Americans suffer from heart failure, a serious condition where the heart can’t pump enough blood to the rest of the body. Many are unaware they have this potentially fatal condition because
some of the most common symptoms — such as shortness of breath and fatigue — are often mistaken for normal signs of aging.
Our speaker is cardiologist Scott Blois, MD, of Boulder Heart, who established the first heart failure clinic in Boulder County. He will describe the signs of heart failure and provide an update on the latest treatment options.
Speaker Scott Blois, MD, of Boulder Heart // Boulder Community Health (BCH)
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 17, from 7 to 8 p.m.
Location: Watch online. You’ll get the link once you register.
REGISTER NOW === Click here to download a lecture flyer (pdf)
~~~This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes. Readers should check with their health care provider for personal advice and information~~~