Heart at Work
May 12, 2011
Working women are notorious for putting work, and everything else, ahead of themselves – even when it comes to their health. But putting heart health on the back burner is “one of the most dangerous things you can do,” Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, tells PINK.
In honor of Women’s Health Week, here’s how to take care of your ticker.
“I hear it over and over again: ‘I just don’t have time to take care of myself.’ More women die from cardiovascular disease than the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. As women, we can’t afford to ignore our heart.”
Almost two-thirds of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms, according to the CDC. “Heart attack symptoms aren’t the same for men and women,” says Dr. Rhonda Medows, a chief medical office and executive VP for UnitedHealth Group. “Usually, no chest pains occur in women.”
Warning signs include neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, dizziness and unusual fatigue, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Medows uses the acronym DRESS – diet, records, exercise, (not) smoking and self – to help women monitor their heart. “Don’t just know the numbers for blood pressure and cholesterol; know what they mean for you,” she says.
Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease, often due to age, heredity or ethnicity. Determine your risk with this AHA test and get help reducing it through tips on managing blood pressure and controlling cholesterol.
Bonus PINK Link: Find out why women with high-powered careers are at greater risk for heart disease.
By Muriel Vega
"Hear your heart. Heart your health." Faith Seehill