February is full of reminders about love – there’s Cupid with his bow and arrow and the color red splashed on just about everything.
There’s even National Wear Red Day, February 3, just to remind you to think about your heart.
Did you know heart disease…
- is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year?
- strikes more women than men?
- kills more women than all forms of cancer – combined?
The American Heart Association estimates 80 percent of all cardiovascular disease may be preventable.
Bobby Mickens, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and Director of Women’s Services, says misconceptions about heart disease, especially in women, can lead to disastrous consequences. Symptoms for women can be subtle and might go unrecognized — shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
“There are choices you can make to keep your heart healthy,” says Bobby. Here are a few of her tips and recommendations:
- Learn more about your family’s history of heart disease. This is important because your risk for heart disease is strongly linked to your family history. Know who suffered from it and who may have passed away because of it and at what age.
- Come in for a wellness exam. A well-woman exam includes an assessment of your physical health – your cholesterol, body-mass index, blood sugar, weight and blood pressure. Combined, those results can assess your risks of heart disease or stroke.
- Build a “get healthy” plan with your healthcare provider. There are things you can do to improve your health, such as taking steps to stop smoking, increasing your amount of exercise, eating healthier and controlling blood pressure and diabetes.
“We have programs to help with every step of your healthcare plan, to help you achieve optimal health,” said Bobby. “Let’s work together to get healthier.”
- SHS Smoking Cessation Program
- Go Red for Women
- American Heart Association
- American Stroke Association
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Heart Disease
Why not take the first step today? Call 816-923-5800 to schedule your well-woman appointment.