Women and Heart Disease

February 24, 2016

Women and Heart Disease

With tips from Dr. Ali Tabrizchi and Lisa Sawyer 

Did you know that more women die from heart disease than from all forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s and lower respiratory disease combined? On February 3, 2016, Dr. Ali Tabrizchi, interventional cardiologist from LifeBridge Health Cardiovascular Institute gave a presentation about how heart disease affects women and how their symptoms and risk are different from men at our well attended “Go Red for Women – A Ladies Night Out” event.

Risk Factors
Dr. Tabrizchi discussed ways to modify your risk for developing heart disease.  There are two risk factors you cannot control: your age and your family history.  The good news is there are seven modifiable risk factors you can control which are: Blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, exercise and eating a healthy low fat diet.

Treatment & Prevention
Medication can be used to help control your blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. Thirty minutes of exercise is recommended daily to help maintain or lower blood pressure, decrease cholesterol and manage diabetes. Blood pressures 120/80 or lower are generally considered to be normal. The goal for cholesterol is to have an LDL (Lousy) of 100 mg/dl or less, and HDL (Healthy) greater than 50 mg/dl. Sometimes it takes a combination of medication, healthy eating and exercise to manage your cholesterol. Behavioral modifications will help change your actions when it comes to smoking cessation, starting an exercise program and sticking to it, losing weight and choosing a healthy meal plan. Making healthy changes in women’s lives may reduce their risk for heart disease as much as 80%. 

Even on the busiest of days it is important to take a few minutes to de-stress

Lisa Sawyer gave an introduction to meditation secrets for women. Remember reducing stress and taking a few minutes out each day can also help you reduce your blood pressure, and manage your health in a positive manner. Even on the busiest of days it is important to take a few minutes to de-stress.  For example, while waiting in the carpool lane turn the radio off, close your eyes and inhale through your nose counting to four and then exhale through your mouth for four counts. Do this exercise for five to ten times and enjoy the relaxing sensation it provides.

What are the signs?
Dr. Tabrizchi stated that women present differently than men when it comes to heart disease. Typical symptoms when someone is having a heart attack are: severe chest pain or tightness, lightheadedness, fainting or shortness of breath. Every woman needs to be accessed individually. If you think you are having symptoms, or really don’t feel well, check with your physician or call 911. 64% of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.   

Due to the vague symptoms women experience, they may be less likely to have an EKG or be admitted to telemetry floor for monitoring. Women are under diagnosed and can therefore get a false sense of security. On Thursday, May 5, 2016 we will continue this important discussion on women and heart health as we partner with Hadassah and their Every Beat Counts campaign. Registration will begin on April 1, 2016 for “Celebrate Women – A Mother, Daughter and BFF Night Out” at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC.  

For more information contact Gail Wolven: 410.559.3606 | gwolven@jcc.org 

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