Heart Disease in Women

Heart disease in women. According to the American Heart Association's Heart Disease & Stroke Statistics, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still the number one killer of American men and women of all ethnic groups. The statistics update for 2005 makes use of statistics compiled for 2002, or the last year that data is available.

Heart Disease in Women

Cardiovascular diseases include high blood pressure, arrhythmias, valvular disease, congestive heart failure and stroke. Coronary heart disease (CHD) or hardening of the arteries is America's biggest killer. There were 494.4 thousand coronary heart disease deaths in 2002 including 179.5 thousand deaths from heart attacks. The deaths from CHD included 241,600 women of which 25,900 were black women. The death toll from stroke for Black women is 9.6 thousand.

CVD (*) Profile :

Where there is 1 in 4 women have some form of cardiovascular disease.

• Since 1984, the number of CVD deaths for women has exceeded that for men.

• In 2002 CVD caused the deaths of 493,623 women compared to 433,825 men. Women represented 53.2 percent of CVD deaths.

• In the United States in 2002, all cardiovascular diseases combined claimed the lives of 493,623 women while all forms of cancer combined to kill 268,503 women. Breast cancer claimed the lives of 41,514 women; lung cancer claimed 67,542.

• The 2002 overall mortality rate from CVD was 320.5. The mortality rate was 265.6 for white women and 368.1 for black women.

• In 2002, cardiovascular disease was the first diagnosis registered in 3,164,000 women who were short-term hospital discharge. Exiles include both the living and the dead.

CVD risk factors are not only common in African-American communities, they are preventable. These factors include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol profile, overweight & obesity, abnormal blood glucose and use of tobacco.

Risk factors can be prevented at an early age, before manifesting as cardiovascular disease later. Lifestyle options for prevention include but are not limited to:

• Exercising 30 minutes every day;

• Eat vegetables, fruit and whole grains;

• Eat a low-fat, low-carbohydrate, low-cholesterol, low-salt diet;

• Eat fish, lean meats, poultry;

• Drink eight glasses of water every day;

• Eliminate processed foods, sugar, cakes;

• Reducing life stressors and/or reactions to stressors;

• Engage in spiritual activities; and

• Provide community services.

Due to the urgent need for ongoing interventions to reverse the trend of increasing rates of diabetes and obesity, heart disease and stroke, I have partnered with the American Heart Association to provide community awareness programs to help improve the health and well-being of citizens. This program revolves around the National Go Green initiative for Women and Heart Health.

To help raise awareness among citizens and their members at large, about the need for heart health and prevention of CAD in women, I encourage women to join me on February 3 by wearing red, according to the American Heart.

Association's Go National. Red for Women's Day. In addition, I ask women to schedule appointments for themselves and family members to see their nurse practitioner, internist, or pediatrician. That is all and thank you.
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