Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the US. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices, change their lifestyles and manage their health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Why Go Red? Go Red for Women is specifically aimed at women because most women do not realize the #1 killer of women is not breast cancer, it’s heart disease. In the U.S., approximately one woman every 80 seconds dies of cardiovascular disease. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events may be prevented with awareness and lifestyle change.
These days, we have to know and remember a lot of numbers – soccer practice, birthdays, pin numbers, passwords, etc. But ladies do you know these numbers? Being aware of them just could save your life!
The American Heart Association recommends you know your: Total Cholesterol, HDL (good) Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI). These numbers are important because they will allow you and your healthcare provider to determine your risk for developing heart disease.
Ideal numbers for most adults are:
- Total cholesterol: Less than 200. High cholesterol contributes to plaque which can clog your arteries and lead to a heart attack or stroke. When your cholesterol is in range, you give your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages.
- HDL: for women, greater than 50. For men, greater than 40.
- Blood pressure: less than 120/80. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys thereby keeping you healthier longer.
- Fasting blood glucose level less than 100. High blood glucose, with time, damages your heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. Not good.
- BMI: less than 25. When you rid yourself of extra fat and weight, you reduce the burden on your heart and arteries, lungs and skeleton. And, you give yourself the gift of remaining independent, keeping up with your kids and grandkids, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and feeling good about yourself overall because it’s not just about how long you live but the quality of those years! Live life on YOUR terms!
You can also lower your risk by quitting smoking if you smoke, staying away from secondhand smoke and only drinking in moderation if you drink alcohol.
One more thing. Did you know your heart age can be older than your actual age? Take the heart age quiz to learn the age of your heart and what you should discuss next time you see your healthcare provider.