What you need to know about Heart Disease and Stroke.

Did you know that heart disease is still the number one cause of death in women?

Up to 24 % of deaths are due to heart attacks and 7 % due to strokes.

Women need to be aware of this and take charge of their own health.

Risk factors specific to women include:

-high blood pressure during pregnancy also known as preeclampsia
-taking the birth control pill for contraception
-hormone replacement therapy for menopause

How do you prevent a stroke:

1. Quit smoking.

2. Regular exercise (moderate-paced 30 minutes of walking four times per week).

3. Consume no more than 8 ounces of alcohol per week.

4.  A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and olive oil, and minimize processed food.

5.  No more than 2000 mg of sodium or salt per day.

6.  Maintain an ideal body weight and avoid obesity which can result in elevated cholesterol or hyperlipedimia, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and diabetes.

Healthy women over the age of 65,  may benefit from taking a baby aspirin of 81mg  per day which has been reported to decrease cardiovascular risk.

Make sure your LDL cholesterol is less than 70 and your systolic blood pressure is less than 120 mm HG.

Here is a terrific educational pictorial video from Health Sketch  which clearly explains the definition of a stroke and some helpful tips on how to prevent it.

Discuss with your health care provider your risk of stroke and how to prevent it.

Dr. Barb

References: Heart and Stroke Foundation.