|

Women and Heart Disease

There are many serious types of health concerns that affect women. None is more serious than heart disease, the nation's leading killer. The American Heart Association says that "nearly one million people die from heart disease yearly." Heart disease is often thought of as a man's disease, but that is a misconception. Even though breast cancer is most often quoted as the number one cause of death in women, nearly six times as many women die from heart disease. In 1996, women's deaths from heart disease outpaced men's by 505,930 to 453,297. The facts tell it all: one in nine women over age forty-five and one in three women over sixty-five have coronary heart disease. Approximately half of all women will eventually develop some form of heart disease.

Up until menopause, estrogen reduces the likelihood of plaque buildup in the arteries and acts as protection from heart disease.

After menopause, a woman's risk steadily increases for developing coronary artery disease, or CAD, a condition where the veins and arteries leading to the heart become narrowed and/or blocked by plaque. Heart attack and stroke are caused by CAD, in most cases.

Essential: Estrogen helps to raise HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), which helps remove the LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) that contributes to the accumulation of fat deposits called plaque along artery walls.

Women need to concentrate on making heart-healthy choices throughout life, but especially in the years after menopause. It is important to eat a diet that is low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol; eat plenty of grain products, vegetables, and fruits; stay physically active; keep a healthy weight; control stress levels; go easy on sodium; and consult with a doctor about hormone replacement therapy.

|

Copyright © 2002 by Kimberly A. Tessmer. Excerpted from The Everything Nutrition Book: Boost Energy, Prevent Illness, and Live Longer with permission of its publisher, Adams Media Corporation.

To order this book visit Amazon.com.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

jack-o'-lantern creator

Design and print
your own
jack-o’-
lanterns!

GO

highlights

Top 10 Free Homework Help Websites
Is helping your child with homework more frustrating and confusing than ever before, thanks to the new Common Core standards? Check out the best free homework help websites to boost kids' success in math, science, English, and more.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

11 Fantastic Fall Apple Desserts
Nothing says fall like the smell of an apple dessert baking in the oven. Use up your family's surplus of apples with our 11 favorite apple dessert recipes.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!