My Heart, My Valentine

What did the drum say to the other drum on Valentine’s Day? “My heart beats for you”. Hearts are what you typically picture when it comes to Valentine’s day or with love in general, but have you shown your heart some love this here recently? Yes, I am talking about the muscular organ that pumps blood through your body. Heart health is very important especially in these stressful times. That is why it is important to make sure that your heart is your Valentine this year so you can give it the care it needs.

Women vs. Heart Disease

So, what exactly is heart disease? The term alone refers to several types of heart condition but the most common one is coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease can affect the blood flow to the heart and increases the chance for heart attack. You might think that with heart disease it would be more common in men, but it really is greater in woman. It is the leading cause of death in African American and Caucasian women. For Asian, Hispanic or Pacific Islander it is ranked 2nd for cause of death.  Cardiovascular disease clams the lives of 1 in 3 women and 80% of it can be prevented but it still is considered to be a great threat. Looking at more of a local point:

  • With Ischemic Heart Disease in Mason County Woman, it was at 171.6
  • With Ischemic Heart Disease in Robertson County Woman, it was at 225.8

These numbers are pretty high and also scary to think about but there is some way to help reduce the risk of heart disease:

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise
  • Healthy diet
  • Manage stress
  • Limit alcohol
  • Follow treatment plan

One of the most important things to know about heart disease is the heart attack symptoms. Know what they are especially if you are at a higher risk for a heart attack can really help you identify it:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Jaw, neck or upper back pain
  • Chest pain but not always
  • Pain or pressure in the lower chest or upper abdomen
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Indigestion
  • Extreme Fatigue

Even though there is already a lot of awareness out there about women and heart disease only 50% of women think that this can really a deadly disease to them. Even so it is very important to be aware of this threat.  Make sure that you are taking care of yourself and talk with your doctor about your risk. But it is okay to show yourself some self-love because it can be good for you mental and physically. Take time out of day to relax and take a breather so you don’t overdo it. Taking a moment like this can really help your heart now and into the future. So for this Valentine’s Day make sure you have your heart on the list!

Click on the buttons below to learn more about living with heart disease or managing high blood pressure.

Brought to you by the Buffalo Trace District Health Department:

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This article was written by Emma White for the Buffalo Trace District Health Department. Published February 3, 2021.