Why you should take care of your heart now
Most of us may tend to think of heart disease as something that affects the male population, especially those of older age. But lately, there has been incidence of increases in cardiovascular disease occurring in women before menopause. Here are five reasons to take control of your heart health… now!
· Good (and bad) habits start early and continue with age. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, “studies show that children who are obese […] are more likely to remain obese as adults.” Obesity and high cholesterol are risk factors for heart disease, so it is imperative to get active and reduce your junk food intake as soon as possible.
· Young women do not recover as well as men of similar age from cardiovascular disease. Dr. Karin Humphries, researcher for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, is working hard to find the reason for this. As she states, “evidence suggests that women are not treated as aggressively as men when they present with chest pain. And their outcomes are worse, with higher mortality rates after a heart attack or after open heart surgery."
· Young women are more prone to hypertension than their male peers. Women have a tendency to want to be able to handle everything on their own. The consequence? Increased levels of stress, another important risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
· Up until menopause, female hormones protect the heart and arteries. Protection thus remains rather fragile, and threatened by other factors. For example, if you are a smoker, the use of oral contraceptives can increase the incidence of cardiac arrest. Another reason to quit smoking!
· Not knowing the symptoms and not being suspicious are the biggest enemies for women. As women don’t feel threatened by heart disease, they will often wait too long to seek help. So be sure to remain informed about the risk factors and symptoms of cardiovascular disease in order to prevent the worst.
But there is no use in panicking: it’s never too late to make heart-healthy changes to your life! Changing the way you cook, eating more fruits and veggies, leading an active lifestyle, keeping your stress levels at a minimum and quitting smoking are all ways of taking action.
Note: This article was written for informational purposes; don’t hesitate to consult a physician if you believe you are experiencing symptoms of heart disease.