We Commit to Healthy Hearts
Did you know one in three women dies from heart disease? February is American Heart Month. As the region's cardiac leader, the physicians and staff of Lutheran Heart are committed to supporting the women of our community in their promises to live a heart healthy life.
Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease
Controllable Risk Factors
- High Cholesterol. About 50 percent of women have a total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL and above, which puts them at risk for heart disease.
- High Blood Pressure. About 39 million women age 20 and older have high blood pressure. 28 percent of people with high blood pressure don't know they have it.
- Physical Inactivity. All healthy adults ages 18-65 should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity five days a week.
- Obesity and Overweight. About 69 million women are overweight and 36.7 million are obese, which greatly increases their risk for heart disease. Excess weight strains your heart, raises blood pressure and cholesterol, and can lead to diabetes.
- Type 2 Diabetes. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. 7.5 million women age 20+ have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, 2.3 million go undiagnosed and 24.9 million are pre-diabetic. Complications of diabetes includes: stroke/TIA, blindness, heart attack/angina, kidney disease, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, loss of legs or feet and nerve disease.
- Smoking. 20.7 million women age 18 and older smoke, increasing their risk for heart disease.
Uncontrollable Risk Factors
- Increasing Age
- Heredity (family history)
- Race (members of some races, particularly African-Americans, are at higher risks)
Take Action to Lower Your Risk
- Keep weight under control by eating a healthy diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium.
- Be physically active at least 30 minutes on most or all days of the week.
- Control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Manage your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
- Get regular medical check-ups.
- Talk to your doctor about a prevention plan and medicines that may be right for you.
- Don't smoke, and avoid tobacco smoke.
Choose Heart Healthy Habits for Your Lifestyle
Make healthy lifestyle choices to help decrease your risk of heart disease.
- Eat heart-healthy foods.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco.
- Make exercise a habit.
- Manage stress.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Monitor your blood pressure.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take medications as prescribed.
- Schedule regular medical checkups. Ask your doctor about cardiovascular disease and know your numbers.
- Limit your alcohol intake.