Were you aware that heart disease is the number one killer among women? This fact tends to surprise many women, which is one of the reasons why the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) is helping encourage and empower women to openly and proactively discuss their heart health with their doctors.
February is American Heart Month. “Spread the Word” is the name of the educational campaign sponsored by the NPWH and other groups designed to help educate women about heart disease and testing options that are available. Heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined.
CAD, also known as coronary artery disease, is the most prevalent of heart diseases and is caused by a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries which affects the flow of blood to the heart. Over time, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause a variety of issues, including heart attacks, heart failure, arrhythmia or even death.
According to the National Institutes of Health, it is important for everyone to take preventative steps early on to promote heart health. Three signs of a healthy heart that you can monitor are:
- Blood pressure: the recommended blood pressure in adults is less than 120/80 mm
- Cholesterol: total cholesterol score of less than 200 mg/dL is ideal (calculated by adding your HDL, LDL, and 20% of your triglyceride level
- Blood sugar (glucose): normal fasting (no food for 8 hours) blood sugar level is between 70 and 99 mg/dL
Women and men show different signs and symptoms when suffering from heart disease. A woman’s signs may not be as obvious. There are a variety of testing procedures that can be conducted, but some are not as accurate for women and may also cause other side effects.
Throughout the month of February, you can learn more about the Spread the Word campaign online, as well as seen on television and heard on radio stations across the country.
Do you have a physician that you are comfortable discussing your heart health and other health concerns? Please contact our Lake City or Gainesville location to schedule an appointment today with a trustworthy preventative care physician who can discuss your general health and wellness.