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HEALTH DIVA: How to Prevent Heart Disease for Women!

By   |   February 5, 2013   |   Entertainment

The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection 2013 Fashion Show, bringing awareness about heart disease in women, will feature some major talent in 2013. The runway show, happening one night before the official launch of NY Fashion Week, will feature Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Olympic sweetheart Gabby Douglas, Kelly Osbourne, Savannah Guthrie, Minka Kelly, Toni Braxton, Nastia Liukin and Torah Bright, just to name a few.

Heart disease, the number one killer of women, is one the DivaGals would love to see eradicated. We turned to our own Health Diva, Dr. Janna Andrews, for her expert advice on ways to help prevent the disease.

What is cardiovascular or heart disease? Heart disease is caused by the blockage of the blood vessels that supply the heart. The damage to the blood vessels that can take place over years is the major cause of heart attacks. Men and African Americans tend to experience higher mortality rates of cardiac disease, but women should still take heed and to measures to modify their lifestyles. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and leading cause of disability of women. One in 4 women will die of heart disease.

Unfortunately the signs and symptoms of heart disease are often silent. Some of the more common signs of a heart attack include: central chest pain or pain radiating down the arms, back, jaw, or neck; nausea; cold sweats or heartburn. If you are having any of these symptoms, or are concerned that you or a loved one is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.

Prevention should be the key and the focus before developing heart disease. The major risk factors for cardiovascular disease include: poor diet, smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia, physical inactivity, obesity, diabetes mellitus and heavy alcohol use. Women can reduce their risk of heart disease by prioritizing and adopting a lifestyle that takes these risk factors into consideration. In order to decrease your risk of developing heart disease make a conscious decision to prioritize your health with the suggestions below:

  • Ask questions about your family history. Does diabetes run in your family? Even if it doesnΓÇÖt, diabetes can be present without symptoms, so it is important to get tested to rule out diabetes.
  • Do you know what your blood pressure is? Blood pressure should be checked at least annually. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can also be present without symptoms. Years of high blood pressure can cause the blood vessels to harden decreasing the amount of oxygen rich blood to the heart eventually resulting in a heart attack.
  • Dyslipidemia or high cholesterol is caused by an abnormal amount of lipids in the blood. Cholesterol is an essential component for all cells. Too much cholesterol in the blood can build up and clog blood vessels, as well as cause blood clots that can potentially cause heart attacks. Cholesterol levels should be checked at least every few years.
  • Modify diets by maintaining a healthy weight and eating foods lower in cholesterol, and cut down on consumption of sodium.
  • Indulging in alcohol on occasion is acceptable, but make sure to limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day.
  • Maintain an active lifestyle by getting at least two and a half hours of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly.

Modifying each of these risk factors should help to decrease the risk of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, and will have a positive impact on oneΓÇÖs health overall.

Watch The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection 2013 Fashion Show at 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Feb. 6 via livestream video on The Heart Truth Facebook page.

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