• 72°

Mind and Body: Go Red for Women

By Angela Bereznak

Clark County Health Department

Go Red for Women was created by the American Heart Association in order is to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a platform for change to improve the lives of women globally.

Go Red is about all women making a commitment to stand together and taking charge of their own heart health and encouraging other women to do so.

Learn how you can have healthy heart health, educate others to live healthier, and wear red on Friday.

Causes of heart disease

Heart disease affects the blood vessels and cardiovascular system.

Numerous problems can result from this, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis, a condition that develops when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries.

This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Facts about Heart Disease in Women

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute. Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen.

The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women and men, and are often misunderstood.

While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.

Signs and symptoms of heart attacks

— Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.

— Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

— Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

— Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

— As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

Signs and symptoms of stroke

— Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

— Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

— Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes

— Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

— Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

Preventing heart disease

Although the information previously stated can seem bleak, there are ways to potentially prevent heart disease from occurring.

— Get your blood pressure under control.

— Lower your cholesterol.

— Know your family history.

— Stay active.

— Lose or manage your weight.

— Eat healthy.

— Don’t smoke.

Information for this article was obtained from: https://www.goredforwomen.org/

Clark County Health Department provides programs for the entire family, including WIC, HANDS, family planning, well child care/immunizations, and Freedom from Smoking.  For more information on all of our service, please call 859/744-4482 or visit our website at www.clarkhealthdept.org