Protecting women against heart disease

Recently an article came out about the high risk of heart disease that women face. For many, heart disease seems like a fantasy like unicorns or a tree that grows money. It seems so far away for most, that many do not take the risks so seriously unless they, or someone they know, is directly affected.

This is a serious topic to me. My grandpa died in his late forties from a heart attack. While he is a male, heart disease can be hereditary. And my mom has a predisposition for the disease. With high cholesterol and extremely high blood pressure, she is a time bomb waiting to explode. This is quite frightening for me. While preliminary tests have me in the clear, she is not so much.

The recent article about women and heart disease speaks about this silent killer. Why is it considered silent? Because heart attack symptoms in women are different than men, which means they are often overlooked and not caught, putting women in serious physical danger.

Here is why:

1. Many women do not know they are in danger. Heart attacks kill women more than any other disease, including breast cancer.

2. Physicians need to be more educated about gender difference between men and women and heart disease. Without this shift in ideology, women will still be at serious risk for having their heart conditions overlooked. A lot of women die in the first year after a heart attack because of lack of proper care.

3. Men are still at risk for heart disease. It is the number one killer for both sexes. But the problem is microvascular disease, an often undetected disease that affects blood vessels. And this is what is putting women at risk.

So ways to avoid heart attacks? Get up and move. Stop sitting on the couch and put down those potato chips. Regular exercise is the sure way to help reduce heart attack risks. And eating heart healthy is good too. Whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies, and limited saturated fats will help reduce the facts.

But sometimes nature lays in and a heart attack will occur. Knowing what symptoms to look for can help save your life. A heart attack is usually a pain in the chest. But in women, it can be pain in the jaw and nausea. Women and men have different symptoms, so the other symptoms are often forgotten about.

Prepare yourself financially. Sure, that seems a bit odd. But the last thing you want to do when returning from the hospital is to look at a hospital bill and give yourself another heart attack. Getting good health insurance is the only way to save yourself from financial heart ache. And since a heart attack can happen at any time, temporary insurance will not work for you. And make sure your insurance covers emergency hospital visits, because most heart attacks are an emergency.

Avoid heart disease and prepare yourself now, especially if you are a woman.