The term cardiovascular disease (CVD) is often used interchangeably with the term heart disease. It refers to any disease that affects your heart or blood vessels. There are many different forms of CVD and some can be prevented through lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet and exercising.
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease rates among men have fallen over the years but not so for women. Every minute a women dies from some form of CVD, which is the number one killer of women. In fact, one in three Caucasian women and half of all African American women have heart issues.
There are a variety of symptoms and risk factors of CVD that women should know about. Educating yourself on these issues could possibly mean prevention in some cases.
Many risk factors are in your control, but some are not. For example, a history of family heart disease is an indication of a person’s susceptibility to cardiovascular problems down the road. However, listed below are risk factors you can control with some simple healthy life choices:
- Physical inactivity
- Poor diet and obesity
- Uncontrolled stress and anger
- Uncontrolled diabetes and blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Symptoms of Heart Disease
In women, the symptoms of CVD are often more subtle than in men. A women needs to pay close attention to her body to be aware of some of these symptoms and not mistake them for stress or normal body changes.
For example, most men have chest pain before a heart attack, but many women may only feel a slight tightening or discomfort in their chest. Sometimes there may even be no chest pain of any kind. CVD symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Undue fatigue
- Nausea or vomiting
- Unusual sweating
- Right arm pain
At All about Women, we are committed to keeping women healthy in every facet of their life. Have you found an experienced physician whom you can trust? Contact our compassionate well women care physicians in Lake City or Gainesville to set up an appointment for a comprehensive woman’s wellness exam today.