During a normal year, this article would recognize American Heart Month and more specifically, a Go Red for Women Sunday for wearing red. I would still like to focus on heart health, with a few additions due to Covid-19.
Heart Disease is the number one killer of women. Heart Disease kills more women than all cancers combined. One in 31 women with breast cancer will die from the disease while heart disease kills one in three women. Heart disease is not just an old person’s disease. People who are otherwise healthy but have high cholesterol and/or blood pressure are at higher risk. 64% of women who die suddenly from heart disease have no symptoms; at least not typical ones like crushing chest pain. Women are much more likely to have symptoms like nausea, shortness of breath, back or jaw pain. Other symptoms include dizziness, fainting and extreme fatigue. Heart disease can include atherosclerosis or narrowing of the blood vessels due to plaque, heart arrythmias, heart valve defects, or heart failure.
The good news is that 80% of heart disease is preventable. Smart lifestyle choices and monitoring your overall health are vital. Don’t smoke, manage your blood sugar, control your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol, know your family history, stay active, lose or manage your weight, and eat healthy.
As you may know, Covid19 affects the blood vessels in the body. Although it was first thought to only be a respiratory virus, the receptors that it attacks are throughout the body and it is now considered to be an infectious vasculitis. Given that, the covid19 virus has contributed to heart attacks, strokes and blood clots in people of all ages. Most importantly during this time, if you have any heart related symptoms, don’t ignore them, but seek medical help. Hospitals are safe and able to take care of their patients without concern for exposure to Covid19.
God Bless, be safe, be well.
Be safe and stay healthy!
Amy Taylor BSN, RN