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Heart Disease: The Leading Cause of Death in Women

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease remains the leading cause of death in women by a staggering 25% in the United States. Unfortunately, the disease can go unnoticed, leaving family members questioning if they, too, will fall victim. Are you at risk?

Heart Disease 101:

Did you know that your heart has the ability to pump blood to every cell in your body in less than a minute? That is pretty amazing taking into account that the average human body has approximately 50 trillion cells. In a day, your heart transports your blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels that branch out and link together with other body parts. So, what then happens to you if your heart begins to fail?

Heart disease is responsible for approximately 250,000 deaths a year among women in the U.S. To put this into perspective, that is roughly the population of the entire city of Buffalo, New York. Factors that contribute to heart disease include, but are not limited to: diabetes, obesity, smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

According to the National Institute for Nursing Research, one in three women will die from heart disease each year as the disease remained unnoticed.

Warning signs associated with heart disease and risk factors leave patients feeling fatigue and short of breath. Others feel anxious, weak and dizzy while also experiencing indigestion. In a study conducted by Dr. Jean McSweeney and her research team, women who experienced these symptoms were divided into two groups, the knowing and the managing. Those who knew that their symptoms could not remain untreated found help, while women who did not seek help managed to deal with their symptoms and never questioned the severity.

Is Heart Disease Hereditary?

Though heart disease and risk factors associated with heart disease such as diabetes and high cholesterol are hereditary, research shows that leading a healthy lifestyle has an even greater impact on cardiovascular health.

According to Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D., chair and professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, “health behaviors can trump a lot of your genetics.” Think about a truly healthy lifestyle in comparison to one that proves hazardous to your health. Those who smoke are at higher risk of developing health complications while individuals who diet and exercise avoid risk factors later in life.

When it comes to your health, remember to stay well-informed of the risk factors associated with heart disease. If you would like to speak to a physician regarding family history in regards to your heart health, request a consultation today with one of the trusted cardiologists at the Long Island Heart Associates.

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