Women and heart disease

woman-couch-portrait

Heart disease can mean a variety of conditions that impair the heart’s function. The most common heart disease condition is atherosclerotic heart disease or coronary artery disease that can lead to a heart attack.

Classic signs of heart attack are left-sided or central chest pain that may spread to the jaw or arm, along with sweating and labored breathing. However, these classic signs are often not present in women. Women may only have labored breathing, jaw pain, lightheadedness or extreme fatigue when having a heart attack.
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Four steps to a sustainable exercise routine

Woman exercising with weights

Movement is medicine for the mind and body. A regular exercise program can help you prevent diabetes, lower elevated blood pressure, cut down or eliminate the need for prescription medicine, strengthen and tone your muscles, maintain a desirable weight, improve your sleep, reduce stress and improve your energy level.

Make a clear commitment to your health. Use these strategies to develop a lifelong physical activity program that works with your schedule.
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Balance is the key to preventing falls

Feet

The Centers for Disease Control report that one in three people over the age of 65 will fall every year. Many of us have known someone who has fallen, or are worried about a loved one at risk for falls. Half of all injuries reported at Christiana Care are related to falls. As the injury prevention coordinator for the Trauma Department, I am on a mission to reduce the number of falls that happen to our older population. I teach seniors in the community and at the bedside that most falls are preventable.
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Cut down on sugar to protect your heart

Woman drinking soda

It’s probably time to take a good look at our sugar intakes. Sugar has been a big part of our diets for many years now and we haven’t always been thinking about it enough. During these years, it has become hidden in nearly all of our processed foods and our taste buds have become quite used to its pleasing qualities. We are learning more about it now and the potential health problems it has been contributing to for many years. According to a recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, high sugar intake was associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. The findings were dose dependent. In other words, the more sugar consumed, the higher the risk for CVD mortality. Christiana Care’s Dr. Omar Khan talks more about the risks of sugar intake in his recent radio interview.
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Pump your heart with purposeful exercise

Woman running in winter

If you have ever shoveled a foot of snow, you were either happy or frustrated with your physical condition. Maybe you noticed that your heart was beating fast or that you tired faster than you expected. These signals most likely forced you to take a break.

On average, our heart will beat about 60 to 100 times per minute, but it can beat much faster or slower when needed. To understand how hard your heart works, try this quick activity: Squeeze your hand 60 or 100 times in one minute. After 60 squeezes, I bet your hand went off rhythm, lost count or felt tired and achy. Imagine doing this 100,000 times, which your heart does every day.
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Embracing healthy hearts with a little TLC

Healthy heart chalkboard

This February marks the 50th Anniversary of American Heart Month. The American Heart Association advocates heart-healthy living through diet and lifestyle, endorsing the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) diet, which promotes reduced cardiovascular disease risk with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

It’s easy to live with TLC. Here’s how you can apply the TLC diet to your life:
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Should I be on cholesterol lowering medication?

Woman eating burgers

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. In fact, more women than men die every year from cardiovascular disease. Five times the number of women will die from stroke or heart disease as compared to breast cancer. The Framingham study over over 50 years ago identified the risks for developing heart disease including age, sex, family history, hypertension, tobacco, diabetes, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and high cholesterol.
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