Women are probably at a higher risk of heart disease than you think. In fact, it’s actually the biggest cause of death in women worldwide. Women’s Heart Week serves as an excellent reminder to all women of the importance of improving your lifestyle so that you can look after your health and prevent heart disease.
Heart disease and women
According to the Heart Research Institute, coronary heart disease kills more than twice as many women as breast cancer in the UK. It currently affects over 900,000 women, while more than 450,000 have had a heart attack. It’s a serious issue and as the UK’s biggest killer, it’s time for women to get serious about their heart health.
Heart disease can affect women of any age, and can be caused by rare conditions, inherited diseases and more. It can also be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. A large majority of heart disease cases can be prevented through self-care and healthy living. You’re likely to know someone who has suffered a heart condition or a heart attack, showing you just how widespread heart conditions are.
Getting serious about your health for Women’s Heart Week
Preventing heart disease is something you can take into your own hands. Why not pledge to be healthier for this Women’s Heart Week and start living a healthier lifestyle? There are plenty of steps you can take to help you improve your self-care and stand a better chance of beating heart disease, including:
Smoking is a preventable factor that contributes to a large number of health conditions, including heart disease and cancer. By giving up smoking or never starting, you can do your health a big favour. Quitting smoking is easier when you get help, so consider using the NHS’ Smokefree initiatives to help you quit.
Eat a balanced diet
Poor diet can be a large contributing factor to heart disease, as being overweight and consuming excessive levels of saturated fat can increase your cholesterol levels. Your diet should be low in saturated fat and sugar, and instead focus on ‘good’ unsaturated fats and proteins to help give your body the fuel it needs.
Being physically active helps to keep your weight within the healthy range, while also improving your cardiovascular health. It will keep blood pressure normal and keep your cholesterol levels low too. There are all sorts of exercises you can do to stay healthy. Biking and walking are just two of the low-impact exercises you can do to help improve your fitness gradually and ensure you get the exercise you need for good health.
Consult your doctor about managing your health
If you suffer from diabetes or abnormal blood pressure, you should consult your doctor about managing your condition to help you reduce your risk of developing heart problems. Early menopause can also be a risk factor for heart disease, so you might want to consider hormone replacement therapy to help manage your oestrogen levels.
This Women’s Heart Week, make sure you get the conversation going about women and heart health. Heart disease affects men and women every day in the UK, and it’s important to play your part in preventing it. Remember to dial 999 when it comes to a suspected heart attack, or consult your doctor if you have concerns about your health and the effect it could be having on your heart.