Community Blog

Heart Health Awareness Particularly Important for Senior Women

By Debbie Humphrey

February has arrived and with it, the annual Heart Health Awareness campaign. This month of awareness serves as an excellent reminder for everyone to pay close attention to their heart health, but most particularly senior women.

My Mom was diagnosed with heart disease nearly two years ago, and it has completely changed her way of life. Perhaps, if she had understood more about Cardiovascular Disease [CVD], she could have prevented or slowed its impact.

According to Dr Tara Narula, a board certified cardiologist, professor of cardiologic medicine, spokeswoman for the AHA, and medical contributor to CBS Morning Rounds, the following statistics emphasize the importance of women staying proactive toward maintaining a healthy heart:

  • Half of all adults in the United States have some form of heart disease.
  • Cardiovascular Disease is the #1 killer of women ages 55 and up.
  • Over 400,000 women die each year from CVD, more than all cancers, accidents, and diabetes combined.
  • One of three women will die from cardiovascular disease.
  • Only 55% of women even realize they’re at risk.

Since 80% of heart disease cases are preventable, it is recommended that women understand their risk factors and address them by having conversations with their physician and consider lifestyle changes. I wish my Mom had!

General risk factors for cardiovascular disease include:

  • High Blood Pressure [HBP]
  • Cholesterol
  • BMI
  • blood sugar

Moreover, there are additional risk factors for heart disease in senior women based on biological differences:

  • Health during pregnancy [HBP, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, etc]
  • Early menopause
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Depression, Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Breast Cancer treated with radiation

If you or a loved one has one or more of these risk factors for heart disease, or have been diagnosed with CVD, it’s crucial to know the warning signs of a heart attack, or possibly, heart disease:

  • Pressure in chest
  • Pain or discomfort in arms, back, jaw, or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea/light-headedness

Now that we know the risk factors and symptoms of a serious heart condition, we should all examine our lifestyles, have a conversation with our doctors, and make our heart health a priority by adhering to the AHA’s Life’s Simple 7®, to maintain a healthy heart:

  1. Manage Blood Pressure
  2. Control Cholesterol
  3. Reduce Blood Sugar
  4. Get Active
  5. Eat Better
  6. Lose Weight
  7. Stop Smoking

For senior women suffering from heart disease, activities of daily living can become a real challenge. Home Helpers® compassionate caregivers are skilled at providing in-home health care and support for ongoing conditions such as COPD, congestive heart failure, heart disease, diabetes, and cerebral vascular diseases. I’d love to schedule a FREE in-home consultation to assess specific needs and match the perfect caregiver to encourage your efforts toward better heart health, minimize the struggles, and improve your overall quality of life.

Home Helpers® is honored to have received the Provider of Choice 2017 & 2018 awards from Home Care Pulse, and we proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠  727.942.2539

Sources: American Heart Association

              CBS This Morning