WOMEN'S HEART WEEK FEBRUARY 1-7
February is synonymous with Valentine’s Day, hearts and love. In keeping with that theme, February 1-7 we celebrate Women’s Heart Week as a reminder of the importance of caring for our hearts. Heart disease is the number one or two cause of death in women, regardless of race or age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over a lifetime, heart disease kills 5 times as many women as breast cancer. The risk is real, the loss is great.
Oftentimes busy working women (both in and outside the home) often neglect their own health. A healthy life is an enormous part of your plan for a rich life. Take time right now to assess your own health. Look at the following risk factors to see where you might make changes.
Smoking or daily exposure to second-hand smoke
Past heart attack or known coronary artery disease
Elevated lipids (over 240 mg/dL. or HDL less than 35 mg/dL)
High blood pressure
Birth control pills (in combination with smoking)
Overweight (by 20 or more pounds)
Post-menopausal (and without estrogen replacement therapy)
A Heart Attack may cause some or all of these symptoms:
• Pain, pressure, fullness, discomfort or squeezing in the center of the chest
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Stabbing chest pain
• Radiating pain to shoulder(s), neck, back, arm(s) or jaw
• Pounding heartbeats (palpitations) or feeling extra heartbeats
• Upper abdominal pain
• Nausea, vomiting or severe indigestion
• Sweating for no apparent reason
• Dizziness with weakness
• Sudden extreme fatigue
• Panic with feeling of impending doom
A note about women's milder symptoms - About a third of women experience no chest pain at all when having a heart attack and 71% of women report flu-like symptoms for two weeks to a month prior to having more acute chest discomfort or severe shortness of breath. These milder symptoms are under-reported to emergency room staff.
If you suspect a heart attack, call 9-1-1
• Say "I am having a heart attack".
• Chew an uncoated aspirin right away as this can reduce damage to the heart muscle.
• Go to the nearest medical facility with 24-hour emergency cardiac care. Don't drive yourself. If you're not sure that the pain you are experiencing is serious, it is best to go to the emergency room to find out.
• Get treatment quickly. Clot buster medicine and coronary angioplasty work best if provided after the first signs of distress, so don’t wait. Get to the emergency room without delay.
Learn more at Women’s Heart Foundation www.womensheart.org
Angie Furubotten-LaRosee, CFP® is a financial planner who helps regular people with "big picture" planning, focusing on their money and their lives.
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