Women experience heart disease differently than men. That’s why we work to educate women on the importance of cardiac health. The cardiologists and staff at the Parkview Heart Institute offer the following advice for women of all ages:
In Your 20s: Commit to Healthy Habits
Smoking tobacco is the single most critical health habit related to over-all heart health. Women who smoke probably started in their teens. Choosing not to smoke reduces the risk of future heart disease.
In Your 30s: Team with Your Doctor to Assess Your Risks
High blood pressure and high cholesterol often show up during a woman’s 30s. It is time to choose a family physician or internist with whom you have a good rapport. Together you can pinpoint any lifestyle changes you may need to make to control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
In Your 40s: Do Not Let Your Busy Life Sidetrack Good Habits
By this decade, most women have completed their childbearing and have every minute filled with career and family obligations. Be sure to keep your health a high priority through exercise and healthy eating.
In Your 50s: Know Your Numbers
This is the time when women need to truly “take ownership” of their own cholesterol, blood pressure, lipids, and blood-sugar levels. It is also not too late to put primary prevention measures into practice, such as a healthy diet and physical activity.
In Your 60s, and Beyond: Stay on Top of Any Developing Heart Issues
Beyond age 60, symptoms such as angina (chest pain) or shortness of breath may begin to occur. From this age on men and women are increasingly likely to manifest heart disease. A woman's cardiac symptoms can be intense or unusal pain, or discomfot, in a part of the body not usually associated with the heart. Unusual pain or any other sign must be taken seriously.