Take control of heart health this month

Heart disease is the number one killer in women, but the disease can be treated and prevented with help from the Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic.

February is American Heart Month and Feb. 3 marks the annual Go Red for Women Day sponsored by the American Heart Association. The Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic wants to help you avoid a broken heart not only this Valentine’s month, but for your future as well. “Going Red” means being ready to take control of your health. Heart disease is the number one killer in women and yet only 20 percent of women believe that heart disease is their greatest threat. As a result women are more likely than men to ignore the warning signs of a heart attack.

What causes heart disease?
Heart disease affects the blood vessels and cardiovascular system. Numerous problems can result from this, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis, a condition that develops when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries. If a blood clot forms, it can cause a heart attack or stroke.

How can I prevent it?
With the right information, education and care, heart disease in women can be treated, prevented and even ended.
A few lifestyle changes you should make include; don’t smoke; manage your blood sugar; get your blood pressure under control; lower your cholesterol; know your family history; lose weight; and eat healthy.
The Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic is committed to helping patients reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease and has programs to support those important lifestyle changes that make a difference. We encourage you to get regular screenings that monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. If you are a smoker and are ready to quit, contact Army Public Health Nursing at 06371-9464-1311 for information on Tobacco Cessation assistance.

For advice on active lifestyles, diet and exercise, contact the Army Wellness Center at 06371-9464-1478.

Women and heart disease

• Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
• 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
• Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen.
• The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood.
• While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.