What You Should Know...
• Women are six times more likely to die from sudden cardiac arrest than from breast cancer. Women have a higher mortality (death) rate from heart disease than men, and black women have the highest mortality rate.
• Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Ashland County for both men and women.
• The two most common forms of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, together account for more deaths in every Ohio County than any other cause of death, including cancer.
• Modifiable CVD risk factors are: obesity, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inactivity, and diabetes. These have increased in the past 10 years.
• Physical inactivity may contribute to 35% of all CVD deaths. Current recommendations are for all adults to participate in 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, or preferably all, days of the week.
• You are at increased risk of heart disease if your father or brother had a heart attack before age 55, or your mother or sister had a heart attack before age 65.
• If you experience symptoms of a heart attack such as chest pain/pressure/tightness, accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, feeling faint or dizzy, call 911, take (chew) an aspirin, and sit or lie down while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
What You Can Do...
• Don’t smoke: Smokers are 2 to 6 times more likely than nonsmokers to suffer a heart attack.
• See your healthcare professional regularly to discuss whether you have treatable heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol.
• Keep your weight at normal levels. Being overweight by 20 pounds or more increases your heart disease risk.
• Read labels and be aware of the foods you eat that contain saturated fat and cholesterol.
• Exercise regularly.
• If you are on medication for high blood pressure, cholesterol, or other heart problems, take as prescribed and discuss any questions with your healthcare professional.
• Be an informed consumer regarding your health.
• Know your numbers: cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, blood glucose level or A1C if you have diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes.
• Try to get at least five servings of fruits and vegetable per day. People who eat at least five servings of these foods generally are at lower risk of heart disease.
• Learn stress or anger-management techniques.
• Know your BMI (Body Mass Index): BMI= (pounds x 700) divided by (height in inches squared). Ask your healthcare professional to calculate for you if you have questions. A BMI between 20 and 26 is desirable for most middle age adults.
• Eat low-fat dairy products which may help lower blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease.
• Ask your healthcare professional if you should take an aspirin daily.