Too often, heart disease is thought of as a male-only disease. However, women of all ages and backgrounds are just as much at risk. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the United States.
By raising awareness about the importance of heart health, women can be empowered to take charge of their heart health. Our own WakeMed Heart & Vascular physician, Dr. Bhavani Balaravi, weighs in on some of the simple changes women can make to love their hearts – starting with prevention.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease in Women
Loving your heart starts with prevention. Did you know that a woman’s risk for heart disease nearly DOUBLES after menopause?
Dr. Balaravi stresses the importance of making lifestyle changes to improve your health – well before the onset of menopause. You can begin by maintaining a normal weight, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Leading a healthy lifestyle may prevent many common heart risk factors from ever occurring. Women need to take note of their own personal risk factors, and take steps towards improvement because left alone – one risk factor can have a domino effect, leading to an increased chance of heart disease.
Common risk factors for heart disease in women include:
- High blood pressure
Women’s Hearts Are Different
We’ve all seen the movies where the man grabs at his chest dramatically before collapsing to the ground…but heart attacks don’t always happen this way. This fact is something the American Heart Association continues to emphasize, citing that while some heart attack symptoms are shared between men and women, many women experience completely different symptoms.
Dr. Balaravi explains:
Many women don’t know the facts about heart attacks, and since they have nonspecific symptoms, they just don’t think they could be having a heart problem and may not seek medical care.
Heart attack symptoms in women may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Sleep disturbances
- Indigestion/Gas pain
- Upper back/Shoulder Pain
We invite you to join us as we celebrate American Heart Month and women’s heart health. Below are a couple of free, upcoming events that we encourage you to take part in.
Heart Healthy Events for Women
Love Your Heart
What: Did you know that shopping can be a great form of cardio? Cameron Village and WakeMed Heart Center are partnering to increase heart disease awareness among women.
When: February 1- 14th
Where: Participating Cameron Village Stores | Cameron Village | 2034 Cameron Street, Raleigh, NC 27605
Learn more about this event here!
What: Ladies, join us for an informative talk on Hormones, Hot Flashes and Heart Disease
When: Thursday, February 18th, 6pm
Where: WakeMed North | Conference Room | 1000 Falls of Neuse Rd., Raleigh, NC 27614
Register for this event here!