Heart disease is the number one killer of women, killing more women than all the other causes combined, including cancer.
How can you reduce your risk of heart disease?
- Blood pressure control. Monitor your blood pressure and if more than 140/90mmHg talk to your doctor.
- Be physically active. Exercise at least 30minutes 5 times a week. Physical activity improves blood pressure, cholesterol, prevents heart disease and stroke. Keep a written log.
- Cholesterol. Get your cholesterol levels checked every year and discuss your results with your doctor. If your cholesterol is high then you may need to change your diet, exercise, lose weight and possibly start cholesterol medications.
- Control your diabetes and do not smoke. Smoking and diabetes are the biggest risk factors for heart disease and cause heart attacks at a younger age.
- Follow a heart healthy diet. Ensure that you have a diet low in cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fat. Eat more fruits, vegetables, increase your dietary fiber, limit red meat and eat fish twice a week. Avoid processed foods. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to prevent heart disease.
What does not prevent heart disease?
Hormones, supplements and vitamins (e.g. vitamin E, C) do not prevent heart disease and may even cause harm.
Know the signs of a heart attack and call 911 immediately if you have these symptoms.