Welcome to February, American Heart Month. We as women, are extremely good at juggling many tasks at the same time. We somehow find the time to be CEO’s, CFO’s, COO’s, chefs, decorators, gardeners, the list goes on and on. One task that we neglect is the most important of all – taking care of ourselves.
435,000 American Women have heart attacks annually. The average age is 70.4 years old. Forty two percent of women who have a heart attack die within 1 year, compared to twenty four percent of men. Under the age of 50, women’s heart attacks are twice as likely as men’s to be fatal. More than one in three female adults have some form of cardiovascular disease and heart disease continues to be the leading killer of women.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Nearly one in two US adults has hypertension, yet one in four have it under control. Other risk factors of heart disease are smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, physical inactivity and obesity. For women, withdrawal of the natural estrogen that occurs in menopause leads to lower good cholesterol and higher bad cholesterol.
We owe it to ourselves to be proactive, to slow down just enough to be aware of the signs our bodies may be sending us. Let’s promise each other that we will make time for ourselves because our loving and giving hearts matter!