Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Women Have Hearts Too

I was perusing a magazine the other day when I saw a really interesting advertisement entitled, “Women Have Hearts Too.” The ad was not for a particular product but encouraged women to examine their risk for heart disease. According to the ad, “Nearly every minute a woman diet from heart disease in the United States.” That’s a pretty scary statistic!

Apparently there some key factors a woman can try to adjust in order to avoid her risk for heart disease:

Smoking: Because women are smaller, cigarettes are even more harmful for us. Our bodies are exposed to more of the harmful chemicals. Basically, there’s a really easy way to fix this: STOP SMOKING! It’s incredibly harmful to your health and offers no benefits except for yellow teeth and a bad odor.

Cholesterol Abnormalities: High levels of LDL cholesterol, or the “bad” cholesterol, is a huge risk factor for heart disease. You also want to keep your HDL cholesterol levels high and triglyceride levels low. Margarine can be helpful in lowering the bad cholesterol and can help you live a heart healthy lifestyle. You know I had to get my margarine plus in there. I love the stuff!

Hypertension: High blood pressure, which is defined as 140/90 or higher, is also a high risk factor. Apparently high blood pressure is more common in women than I thought. I did a quick survey of the women sitting around me at work, and many of them have high blood pressure.

Heart disease isn’t always preventable but there are a lot of things you can do to lower risk of getting it. Eating properly, exercising and good communication with your physician can help ensure you stay healthy for a long time.

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